Blake makes Thunder switch for 2018 On Field December 28, 2017 Newcastle Thunder have added promising talent Sam Blake to their ranks for the 2017 season. An impressive U19 with Wakefield Trinity, Blake’s move to Thunder comes after relocating to the North East to study at Northumbria University. Here, Blake has already made an impact, with performances for Team Northumbria that have convinced Thunder head coach Jason Payne he has a role to play in the club’s League 1 campaign. Payne said: I’m delighted Sam has agreed to join the club, I’m sure that he will bring so much to our talented team. Sam is without question a huge talent and a player that could, if he applies himself, have a massive career in rugby league. Sam came to Northumbria in September and immediately made a big impact and straight away I know that he needed to be here to continue his development. I spoke to Sam for a while before he decided to come to Northumbria and at the same time, I was keeping in contact with Wakefield Head of Youth, Mark Applegarth. It was clear how much Mark and Wakefield thought of Sam so we are lucky to have him. Hopefully, he can perform like I know he can and begin to make a name for himself in senior rugby league. Blake said: “It will be a step up physically for me having moved from the u19s league but am really looking forward to a new challenge. I started living in Newcastle in September and have loved the change. The facilities here are top class and it’s a club with massive potential. All the boys get along well and have been welcoming. I think from what I’ve seen in training we’ll be challenging towards the top this year.