Castleford confirm Hardaker signing

Castleford Tigers have completed the signing of Zak Hardaker on a one-year loan deal from Leeds Rhinos, with the option to complete a permanent transfer for an undisclosed fee.

The 2015 Man of Steel remains under contract at Leeds Rhinos until the end of the 2019 season but will be free to play against the Rhinos next year.

Hardaker has been the subject of a long-running transfer saga, which has seen at least six Super League clubs show interest in his services since being transfer listed by Leeds Rhinos in June.

Huddersfield, Salford and the Tigers were the front-runners, however, Hardaker was always thought to be keen on a move to Castleford to link up with Daryl Powell, who coached him at Featherstone Rovers back in 2010.

The 25-year old spent the latter part of the 2016 season on loan at NRL side Penrith Panthers, where he made 11 appearances.

Tigers head coach Daryl Powell said: “I am delighted that Zak has decided to sign with the Tigers. Two years ago he was the Man Of Steel and there is no doubt he is an outstanding Rugby League player. His flexibility in playing a number of positions in the backline will clearly enhance what is already a very talented squad and add quality competition. I have worked with Zak in the past and look forward to seeing him enhance his own reputation as a Rugby League Player and get back into the England team as a Castleford Tigers player.”

Commenting on the arrangement, Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “I would like thank Steve Gill and the Castleford Tigers for how they worked with us on this arrangement. Zak leaves us this season with our best wishes.”