Castleford set to agree swap deal with Huddersfield to plug Gale gap

Castleford are on the verge of completing a swap deal with Super League rivals Huddersfield Giants that will see utility Jordan Rankin head to the Tigers – with Joe Wardle returning to his former club in the process.

After Luke Gale suffered a ruptured achilles in training last weekend, and has subsequently been ruled out for the entire 2019 campaign, the Tigers have acted quickly to bring in a replacement. TotalRL understands Castleford HAVE successfully applied to the RFL for salary cap dispensation following Gale’s injury – but they do not intend to use it at present.

Instead, Castleford have reignited the swap deal which has been heavily reported in recent weeks including Wardle – but rather than prop Seb Ikahihifo heading to the Tigers, it will be Australian half-back or fullback Rankin who makes the move.

The two clubs are believed to be on the verge of agreeing a loan swap deal which will see both players swap clubs for the 2019 campaign, with the move likely to be made permanent at some stage, too.

The Tigers do now have cap space free following the successful move to take Gale’s salary off their cap for 2019, but will instead potentially use that later in the season should they see fit.

Meanwhile, Gale underwent successful surgery on Thursday to repair the injury suffered in training a week ago – but is still facing a significant layoff of between nine and twelve months. Castleford are keen to ensure they do not rush him back from any injury.