Workington Town have pulled off a significant coup for the upcoming season after landing six-time Grand Final winner and former Great Britain prop Ryan Bailey.
And the forward admits he’s desperate to help the ambitious Cumbrian side – coached by international team-mate Leon Pryce – reach the Championship in 2018 after signing just days after leaving Toronto Wolfpack.
“Everyone here wants to do better than last year and hopefully get promoted and I’m here to help them do that,” said Bailey.
“I played against Workington last year and they were a good, physical side and now they have a good mix of older and younger players. From a personal perspective I just want to stay consistent and play hard. Obviously we are striving to get promoted this year and I just want to do my best for the team.”
Bailey could also feature in Town’s squad for this weekend’s Ike Southward Memorial Trophy derby against Whitehaven at the Recreation Ground – a full report will be available in Monday’s League Express.
“Leon and I used to be arch rivals at Bradford and Leeds, there was always a bit of spice,” joked Bailey of his new coach. “But we are on the same team now so it will be good this year. This will be a tough derby and I am really looking forward to it.”
Town chairman Garry Mounsey added: “After last season where we needed to stabilise the club after relegation, we are now in a position to build upon the fantastic squad that we have put together this year.
“We already have a great pack in place and they have shown in our two previous friendlies that they are going to be a formidable unit. As a group they look as fit as I have seen in my years at the club and we have still got Tom Curwen and Andrew Dawson yet to feature.
“We have now got a great balance between youth, experience and local talent, which was always our aim. Ryan will be a great addition to the pack and will bring his considerable experience, which can only benefit the team as a whole. He has been very complimentary about the Town forwards he played against last year and I know he is looking forward to joining them on the field.”
“I would also like to thank Stephen Calvin of Myers & Bowman and other businesses who helped to make this signing happen. Sponsors like Stephen are the lifeblood of our club and help us to keep moving forward.”