Whitehaven RLFC have confirmed a double deal as new boss Jonty Gorley continues to build his squad for the 2022 season.

Former Newcastle and Workington Town forward Liam McAvoy, who is based in Cockermouth, will return to west Cumbria with Haven, where he will be joined by Thunder team-mate Kieran Hudson.

Director Ashley Kilpatrick, who is said to have played a key role in the signings, said: “We have chased Liam for a few years now and to have finally got him over the line is fantastic, especially knowing his signature was in demand.

"Liam is an 80-minute middle who is not only tough and aggressive but also smart with the ball as well.

"He will bring a lot to our pack, especially with Shacks retiring.

"With Kieran, we have seen what he can do when he played against us last year, especially Gregg McNally, who is still feeling that big shot he suffered from him.

"He also comes highly recommended by Liam, who has trained and played alongside him for a couple of years now.

"Kieran is a big lump of a lad who carries strong and is good in defence.

"He is only young, and we believe he will blossom at the LEL Arena.”

Gorley, who is moving into the hotseat after assisting outgoing head coach Gary Charlton, was pleased with the additions.

“I’ve tried to get Liam here since I came to Whitehaven in 2018," he said.

"That’s how much I rate Liam.

"Every team needs a Liam McAvoy because as a front rower or a middle he is what it says on the tin.

"He does a lot of work, has a good engine on him with a bit of skill as well as carrying well.

"He has a bit of grunt which we have lacked at times and I’m hoping he’s going to be at the front of everything that we do with our middles.

"It’s great to have him on board.

"Kieran is a young lad who started playing his rugby on the wing and is now a front rower.

"He’ll have a bit of pace about him and he’s 6’4” and a bit of weight about him.

"Liam has told us about him, about what he can do, and I’ve seen his clips.

"He played against us last season and at Batley and if you can go to those places and hold your own as a kid it shows you’ve got something.

"He has loads of potential has Kieran and hopefully we’ll get to see more of that.”

McAvoy added: “I’m really happy to sign for Whitehaven to be honest, seeing how well they’ve done this year it's going in the right direction.

"I think with Jonty taking over as head coach and Charlo still being involved it's a really good spot to be, especially as I know most of the lads as well.

"I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in.”

Hudson said: "Seeing how well Whitehaven have done this last year made me want to come and try it out.

"It’s a new start for me and I’m really excited.

"It’s a fresh start with a different team something I haven’t done before.

"I’m excited and can’t wait to get started.”