Castleford lead way in Mata’utia race – but someone must leave Tigers to allow arrival

Castleford Tigers are now overwhelming favourites to land the signature of Leigh Centurions fullback Peter Mata’utia – but there is one obstacle which needs to be cleared before the deal can be finalised.

The Tigers are close to beating off competition from clubs like St Helens and Huddersfield to get Mata’utia’s signature on a long-term deal as the exodus at Leigh begins to gather pace.

But before that deal can be completed, Castleford have to move on one of their quota/non-federation trained players to facilitate the space to allow Mata’utia to formally sign with Daryl Powell’s side.

Clubs are allowed a combination of seven players that are either quota or non-federation trained, with a maximum limit of four on the quota.

And the Tigers currently have Jesse Sene-Lefao, Ben Roberts, Junior Moors, Grant Millington, Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e, Jy Hitchcox and Mitch Clark falling into those brackets – meaning someone must move on to allow Mata’utia to join Castleford.

Hitchcox, TotalRL understands, is one contender to move on – with a rumoured deal to Bradford earlier this season ready to resurrect itself to boost the Bulls’ chances of promotion from League 1.