KEIGHLEY Cougars will be delighted to have pulled off a major retention.

Powerful prop Mark Ioane, who was considered a marquee signing when he joined from Leigh ahead of the 2023 season, stayed put while other big names left around him, but was unable to stop Cougars from being relegated from the Betfred Championship on the final day.

But despite Keighley now being a third-tier side he has put pen to paper on a new two-year deal with the club.

Many expected Ioane to be snapped up by a Championship side following Cougars’ relegation, but in a defiant message, he said: “I am here to do a job with this team.

“I want to stay and right the wrongs from 2023.”

Meanwhile, Cougars have also snapped up a talented young half-back.

Ben Dean, 19, has joined Keighley from Super League side Huddersfield Giants.

He said: "I've had to fight all my career for a spot and I am grateful for the opportunity given to me by Keighley Cougars."