NEWCASTLE Thunder have re-signed Joe Brown and Sam Luckley for next season, in readiness for their challenge for League One.
Brown is going into his tenth season with the club, with the the Jamaican centre agreed on a new one year deal to stay at the Thunder. Having made 200 appearances scoring 27 tries over his ten year stay, he has become an integral part of Thunder’s squad.
On re-signing Brown, Payne said: “I’m delighted Joe has agreed to be with the club for another year. He is our longest serving player and I know how much he cares for the club and what it means for him to pull on the shirt.
“By his own admission, he is coming towards the end of his career but not that you would know it. He looks after himself really well and his performances last year were great. He gets through all the tough work coming out of our own end which is vital to get us on the front foot.
“Again I’m really happy that Joe is staying with us and I am looking forward to seeing what he can contribute in 2018.”
Brown commented: “I am delighted to sign again for Thunder everyone knows how much I love playing for this club and also being Co-Captain alongside my best mate Rhys Clarke.
“Next Year is a vital year for us and i know how much work Jason Payne has put in over the off season to assemble a great squad with competition for places all over the park.
“On personal note I feel great at the moment and I am looking forward to having another solid Year! Everyone knows my personal target and that’s to play another 2 seasons at Thunder which hopefully by then we will be in Championship.”
Luckley, 21, has so far played 18 times for the club and was delighted to have signed a new contract at the club.
He said: “I’m very excited to have signed another year with Thunder. The club has so much potential and after last season’s strong finish, I feel we’ll only develop further in 2018.
“I’m pretty young in the game so I’m looking to play as much as possible and learn from the experienced players and coaches at the club. I’m really pleased with how I developed last year. Everyone in the squad worked really hard throughout and it is always great to see that pay off.”
Thunder’s head coach Jason Payne added: “Sam has developed at an incredible rate over the last few years and this is mostly down to how hard he works and his ethic is something that any young player needs to have a great career in the sport.
“He established himself as a regular last season and I believe that Sam has the potential to play at a very high level and I’m delighted he will be with us for another year.
“On top of that he is also a local lad and it’s great to see that the North East is now regularly producing players that can be in the Thunder first team.”