Jay Chapelhow will join Newcastle Thunder for the 2021 Betfred Championship season as the 25-year-old secures a move from Widnes Vikings.

He joins twin brother Ted in moving to Kingston Park Stadium as they reunite with former Vikings head coach and current Thunder director of rugby Denis Betts.

A product of the Widnes Vikings academy Jay joined that club back in 2011 as a scholar and progressed through its academy all the way to Super League.

Making his debut in 2015 against Leigh Centurions, during the Super 8s competition that season, spells on dual registration with Whitehaven in 2015 and 2016 came before Jay went on to cement his place in the Vikings first-team, 

Appearing a total of 46 times in Super League, Jay remained committed to the Vikings through relegation and administration before moving on at the end of 2020 having made 81 appearances.

Originally set to be part of Ottawa Aces inaugural squad next year, the Canadian outfits deferment to 2022 presented an opportunity to remain at Championship level with Thunder, with Jay eager to get started.

He said: “I’m buzzing to join Thunder and can’t wait to get going. It’s a club with real ambition and that is the main reason I’ve decide to come.

“There has been interest before, but now feels like it’s the right fit for the right time and for getting myself back on track.

“I’m looking forward to getting back playing, being part of a good group and enjoying the whole experience including the travelling, which with a good group to do that with is all part of the fun.

“I’ve played some of my best games under Denis and he has built a nice squad. We look like we can be competitive and if we can compete, then we should set ourselves no boundaries as to our aims.”

Director of rugby Denis Betts said: “Ted and Jay are big, strong, talented front rowers with good engines who I know well from my time at Widnes.

“They are committed and enthusiastic lads who have ambitions to be Super League players again and see Thunder as somewhere to realise those ambitions.

“Ted and Jay share the beliefs we have in what we are doing and are fully bought in to being part of our journey and plans.”

Jay joins joins Harry Aldous, Connor Bailey, Bob Beswick, Joe Brown, Ted Chapelhow, 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.