FRAN Welsh has become Cougars boss Craig Lingard’s 10th new recruit after arriving from League One rivals Newcastle Thunder.

The prop has spent the past two seasons on Tyneside, culminating in victory over North Wales Crusaders to lift the inaugural Kingstone Press League One Shield.

After starting his career in the academies of Hull FC and Castleford Tigers, Welsh spent a brief period in the amateur game with Upton before joining the semi-professional ranks in 2012 with Doncaster RL.

In his sole season at the Keepmoat, Welsh made just short of 20 appearances for the Dons as they secured promotion to the Championship as League One Champions under Paul Cooke.

He departed South Yorkshire after a torrid time with injuries which left him unable to play for 18 months in order to head Down Under.

Whilst in Australia, the 24-year old spent his rugby career with the Young Cherrypickers, re-building his career following injury and impressed on video to catch the eye of then Thunder coach Stanley Gene to be signed up by the Kingston Park outfit.

Meanwhile, it has also been revealed that veteran centre Rikki Sheriffe has agreed a new deal for 2017.

The former Bradford Bulls player joined Keighley from Halifax ahead of the 2015 campaign, allowing him to play with younger brother Jode and Jesse, and has become a key member of the side scoring 16 tries in 34 appearances for the club to date.

Despite an injury hit 2016, Sheriffe still played his part in the iPro Sport Cup triumph in Blackpool as he scored one of the Cougars tries in the 22-18 victory over the York City Knights.

As well as signing on for another year as a player, Sheriffe will also join Lingard’s new backroom team as a development coach which will see him work with the younger players within the club.

Cougars will be making further announcements in regards to the playing squad and coaching staff in the near future.