Rugby League


17 Mar 2023

Connor Barley joins York Knights on a season-long loan

Connor Barley joins York Knights on a season-long loan

Hull KR young outside back, Connor Barley joins York Knights on a season-long loan.

Barley arrives at York having already made three appearances for Hull KR in the Betfred Super League at the age of just 18.

The 6ft 3in teenager made a try-scoring debut in the top-flight against reigning champions St Helens in August.

Capable of playing in centres or on the wing, the Hull-born talent also featured in Hull KR’s victories over Wigan Warriors and Hull FC last season.

Knights Head Coach Andrew Henderson said on bringing Barley on board: “Connor is a tall, athletic and a powerful athlete.

"He’s still in the development phase, but he’s got the ability to beat a man on the inside and outside as well as put his winger away. He’s got some really good attributes with the ball.

“Defensively, he competes, works hard and his work ethic is good.

“He’s got the attributes to be a Super League player of the future, there’s no doubt about that.

“He’s already earned a handful of Super League appearances for Hull KR last season, so he’s certainly a promising prospect.

“Speaking to Connor, he really impressed me and for a young man, he seems to have an old man on his shoulders.

“He’s very focused on being the best he can as a rugby league player and becoming a Super League player for the future. I think we’ve got a player of immense potential.

“Also, he’ll add value to us as we’ve only got two recognised centres as the Club.

“That adds more strength in depth and competition for places to us, given the injury to Levi Edwards at the moment.”

Barley himself said: “I’m thrilled to be here at York on loan for this season. I feel like I belong playing against men rather than kids my own age.

“I spoke to Hendo about where he wants to take the Club over the next few years and I’m looking forward to being part of that this season.”

Reflecting on his past Betfred Super League experience, Barley recalled: “At the time, it was all happening so quickly, you didn’t have time to process it or think about it.

“It was quite a humbling experience, sharing the field and changing room with players that you’ve been watching on TV. It was a quite a pinch-yourself moment at such a young age.

“To be honest, it wasn’t as physical as I thought it would be, it was more technically demanding.

“I played against Jonny Lomax and if you give him an inch, he’ll beat you. That’s the type of education you get playing at that top level.”