Powerful forward Tom Wilkinson has signed a professional deal with Barrow Raiders ahead of the 2024 Betfred Championship season.

The former Ulverston man joined the club on dual-registration back in June, linking up with Paul Crarey’s depleted squad as they battled against injuries midway through the season.

He impressed for the Raiders during his 10 appearances , seven of which were starts.

Wilkinson also crossed for two tries – one at local rivals Whitehaven in a memorable 23-22 victory at the LEL Arena last month, and the other on the final day of the season at home to York RLFC Knights.

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He previously made 70 appearances for Whitehaven over a four-year spell before opting to return to his amateur roots at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign.

Haven’s 2021 Player of the Year made his return to the professional ranks by coming off the bench for Barrow at home to Batley Bulldogs in July.

“I am very pleased to have signed a professional contract with Barrow. Being my hometown team, I’ve always wanted to play for the Raiders,” he said.

“Personally, I just want to play as many games as possible and cement my place in the starting line-up.

“As a team, it would be brilliant to push for the top spots in 2024 and bring play-off rugby back to the MJP.”

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Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey said: “More good news for the club is the signing for next year of Tom Wilkinson.

“Tom answered the call when we were down on number’s and has been a model of consistency since coming in. His work rate is phenomenal, and it’s great to have another local lad willing to give his all for his hometown club.”

Chairman Steve Neale said: “We are delighted to capture Tom. He has been outstanding since he joined the team mid-summer and has an exceptional work rate which is always a good starting point for success.

“He has fitted into the squad seamlessly and I have no doubt that he will give full value for money for the club.”

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