Keighley, who kick-off the new season at Whitehaven on February 17, have signed a former Workington Town forward to boost their expanding squad.

Veteran prop Jamie Thackray, who appeared to have called time on his long career at the end of the 2017 season, has joined the Cougars.

The 39-year-old, who enjoyed a 20-year career in the professional game, which ended at Doncaster, will add much-needed experience to Craig Lingard’s hastily-put-together side.

From his debut with Hunslet in 1997 until his final game with Doncaster, Thackray clocked up 287 appearances with 15 different clubs.

He played with Town in the 2011-13 seasons and clocked up 52 appearances, scoring 16 tries. In his long career, he only played for one club (Hunslet 69) more times than he did for Workington.

Thackray played for Hull in the 2005 Challenge Cup Final from the interchange bench in their victory against the Leeds Rhinos. He had three appearances for Great Britain that same year.

His previous clubs include Castleford Tigers, Hull FC, Halifax, Barrow, Doncaster and London Broncos and he has scored 32 tries in his career – half of them for Town.

Meanwhile, Lingard has also signed centre Macauley Hallett, a 23-year-old who started his career in 2014 with Hull Kingston Rovers and has also enjoyed spells at clubs including Newcastle Thunder, Swinton Lions, Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams.

He has scored 49 tries in 85 appearances during his career so far and both he and Thackray join a host of signings announced for Cougars as they gear up for their opening Betfred League One clash of the season at The Recreation Ground.

Both clubs have their final warm-up games on Sunday with Cougars taking on a Leeds side, while Whitehaven host Newcastle Thunder.

Head coach Gary Charlton will be back for the game, having missed the previous encounter at Barrow, but has received regular updates from assistant coach Jonty Gorley.

Haven will be looking to field, for a fair amount of time on Sunday, the 13 who will start off against Keighley in the opener.

It still has to be decided whether both sides will be restricted four substitutes or there will be no limit to the changes.