Barrow Raiders swoop for former Saints ace Charnock

BARROW Raiders have acted swiftly to plug the gap left by the departed Chris Hankinson by swooping for former St Helens and Bradford Bulls stand-off Lewis Charnock.

The 22-year-old, who has signed a two-year deal, is set to partner Jamie Dallimore in the half-backs and he is itching to show his value to the Craven Park outfit.

Warrington-born Charnock, who cut his playing teeth with amateurs Rylands Sharks, said ahead of meeting his new team-mates: “I cannot wait to get started.

“I will try and help them as much as I can, I will do my best and see how far we can go.

“I spoke to Andy Gaffney and Cresta, the gaffer, and I saw it as a good opportunity for me to go and play some rugby and show them what I can do.”

A regular number six during his four-month loan spell with the Bulls, the goal-kicker was snapped up by Super League Saints as a 14-year-old. As well as representing Bradford he has also turned out for Leigh Centurions.

“As long as I am playing I will play anywhere, but if I had to pick a favourite it would be stand-off or loose forward,” he added.

 “At Bradford I played a lot at stand-off and I think that’s where I see myself now.

“I have spoken to a few boys that I know there and they are loving it up there so it just seems a good place to go for me.”

image2The deal follows that of captain Oliver Wilkes extending his stay for a further year as Barrow prepare for 2017, and Raiders joint director of rugby Andy Gaffney believes Charnock will be more than capable of filling Hankinson’s boots following his move t
o Swinton Lions.

“He is a fantastic player and he will fit nicely into the squad”said Gaffney of Charnock. 

“He kicks goals for fun, he went to Bradford on loan from St Helens. He has made a few Super League appearances for Saints

“We had been tracking him for quite a bit and it is great to see a player of that calibre and pedigree coming to play for us.

“He had a chat with Cresta and once he had a word he felt this was the only place to come.”

Hankinson’s departure is seen as a big loss to the club said Gaffney, and he added:  “He’s been great for us and we wish him all the best with his future at Swinton.

“He will be a big miss but I am sure with Lewis coming in he will more than fill his boots.”

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