This article was first published in League Express.
Castleford Tigers are close to agreeing a new dual-registration partnership with Halifax.
The Grand Finalists are understood to be finalising a new agreement which will see the Tigers join forces with the Championship part-timers, having spent the last number of years in partnership with Batley.
Halifax, meanwhile, entered a relationship with Salford Red Devils ahead of the 2017 season, but are close to agreeing a new partnership with their West Yorkshire counterparts following recent meetings.
Halifax have proved to be a desirable partner for a number of Super League clubs because they have a reserve-grade side. Castleford are set to send some of their youngest stars who aren’t eligible to play at youth levels to gain matchday experience at the level below first-grade.
Meanwhile, Halifax will benefit from Castleford’s squad depth, with Richard Marshall set to be afforded the luxury of picking some of the Tigers’ senior players during the course of the campaign as they look to retain their place in the top four of the Championship. The likes of Jy Hitchcox and Will Maher featured for Batley this year, while Halifax picked up Castleford prop Brandon Douglas on a long-term loan deal from midway through the season.
The new agreement could trigger a merry-go-round of club partnerships, starting with the Red Devils, who may decide to find a new club to dual-register with.
Meanwhile, Batley are also thought to be on the lookout for a new partner as their deal with Castleford comes to an end, with Huddersfield Giants mooted as one potential dual-register opportunity.
The Giants are currently partnered with Oldham, but sources suggest that Huddersfield may seek a new partner following the Roughyeds’ relegation to League 1.