COLE FOR CHRISTMAS AT THUNDER

Warrington academy starlet Cole Oakley will move to Kingston Park Stadium for the 2021 season, as the 20-year-old back rower joins Newcastle Thunder for the upcoming Betfred Championship campaign.

An exciting talent who started his rugby league journey with community clubs Rylands Sharks and Wollaston Rovers, Oakley came through the Warrington Wolves scholarship at under 15s and under 16s levels before progressing to the club’s academy.

Playing his rugby for the under 19s in 2018 and 2019, Oakley featured heavily for the young Wolves before stepping up to the reserve ranks for 2020.

Starting in both of his club’s games before the season was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he went on to make his Super League debut for the Wire back in September against Salford Red Devil’s.

Aiming to take the next steps towards regular first team rugby with his move to the north east, Oakley is looking forward to contributing to his new club.

Oakley said: “I’m looking forward to a fresh start with a new team. Newcastle are a quality side and I’m thankful that I’ve been given the opportunity to keep doing what I love and to represent the club and the fans.

“The ambition and set up is as good as any other and I’m looking forward to representing the city and to help the team in every way that I can.

“The coaches have made some quality signings for next year and the set up of the club echoes its ambition and I feel very proud to be representing such a big city.

“We have got a great bunch of lads and hopefully we can have a successful 2021 together.”

Director of rugby Denis Betts said: “Cole is a talented young player who adds to our back row options. He’s a solid defender and runs well.

“He is looking to progress further after making his Super League debut and will want to do that by challenging for a starting spot with us.

“Cole is an ambitious player who shares our drive and will be keen to develop along with the club.”

Oakley joins Harry Aldous, Connor Bailey, Bob Beswick, Joe Brown, Rhys Clarke, Alex Clegg, Reece Dean, Alex Donaghy, Kieran Gill, Ollie Gowing, Evan Hodgson, Kieran Hudson, Jack Johnson, Samy Kibula, Liam McAvoy, Colton Roche, Jake Shorrocks, Evan Simons, Cian Tyrer, Calum Turner, Nathan Wilde, Sam Wilde, Mikey Wood, Josh Woods, Matty Wright & Lewis Young in the squad for the 2021 season.