KEIGHLEY Cougars have confirmed their retained list, with nine players departing, including club stalwart Matthew Bailey.

All will leave following the expiration of their contracts on November 30, except Matt Welham, who is being released from the final year of his deal after agreeing a mutual termination of his contract.

Former two-time player of the year Bailey departs Cougar Park after nine years, during which time he made 125 appearances for the club.

Ex-captain Benn Hardcastle also leaves the Cougars, three seasons after arriving from Newcastle Thunder. Hardcastle recorded 434 points in 42 Cougars appearances.

Another long serving player to leave the club is Ritchie Hawkyard. During his four years with the Cougars across two spells, he scored 36 tries in 65 appearances and was a part of the side that lifted the iPro Sport Cup in Blackpool in 2016.

Macauley Hallett and Will Cooke, who both joined the club prior to the 2019 season from Featherstone and Hunslet respectively, will also be leaving Keighley.

Full back Louis Sheriff, who arrived in West Yorkshire midway through last season from Sheffield, leaves after 18 months at Cougar Park.

Lewis Wray departs following an injury hit two years at Keighley, while Steven Hayes, who was released in March after a change in work circumstances following a successful trial with the club, is also leaving.

The final player to depart the club is Welham. Welham had signed a two-year deal prior to the 2020 season, but the club and player have mutually agreed to terminate the final year of his contract following a change in personal circumstances outside of the game for the centre.

The Cougars said they would like to thank all nine of their departing players for their service to the club and wish them all the best in their future endeavours away from Cougar Park.

Following the five player retention announcements made by the club so far, terms have been offered to a further four players, Jack Arnold, Billy Gaylor, Josh Lynam and Kieran Moran, with announcements on their futures to follow in the coming weeks.

These players join the 11, including former Bulls and Castleford star Jake Webster, who signed two-year deals prior to the 2020 season, and the five new signings made for the 2021 season to date by head coach Rhys Lovegrove.

James ‘Buster’ Feather will be retained by the club but will also join Lovegrove’s coaching and backroom staff ahead of the new season.


RETAINED (CONTRACT EXPIRES 2022): Dalton Desmond-Walker; Kyle Kesik; Dan Parker.

RETAINED (CONTRACT EXPIRES 2021): Mo Agoro; Jordan Aitchison; Jack Coventry; Spencer Darley; Dan Hawksworth; Aaron Levy; Jack Miller; Jason Muranka; Taylor Prell; Alfie Seeley; Ben Stead; Jake Webster; Ryan Wright.


TERMS OFFERED: Jack Arnold; Billy Gaylor; Josh Lynam; Kieran Moran.

PLAYERS TO DEPART UPON EXPIRATION OF CONTRACT (NOVEMBER 30): Matthew Bailey; Will Cooke; Macauley Hallett; Benn Hardcastle; Ritchie Hawkyard; Steven Hayes; Louis Sheriff; Lewis Wray.