CASTLEFORD Tigers have swooped for Reserves winger Elliot Wallis, with the 22-year-old signing a one-year deal with the option of another.
Wallis’ league journey began through community clubs Skirlaugh Bulls and Bilton Sullys where he played his youth rugby before joining the then City of Hull Academy.
At the age of just 17, he made his senior debut for Hull KR in the Challenge Cup in May 2018 and then made his maiden Super League appearance later that month too. Following loan spells with York and Bradford Bulls during his time at Hull KR, Wallis took a break from rugby league in 2021.
Now though, he is ready to make that step back into the game.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Cas so far,” Wallis told castlefordtigers.com.
“Having had that time away from rugby, I thought I wasn’t going to play again but it has been quite refreshing to come back and realise I can play at this level.
“If there wasn’t a Reserves system I might not be playing, or I’d be in a lower league perhaps a bit unnoticed, which at the moment I wouldn’t want. So, to step into the Reserves for a Super League club as good as Cas has given me the opportunity to show what I can do a bit more.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Rads (Lee Radford), he’s a Hull lad like me and I really get on with him.”
Wallis is keen to put pressure on the outside backs already within the Castleford squad.
“There is competition for the wing spots, but I’m willing to come and fight for it. I’m looking forward to learning more from Greg (Eden) and B (Bureta Faraimo), both have plenty of experience.”
Wallis, in 2022, also had the opportunity to challenge himself with some League One games at the Midland Hurricanes, making three appearances and registering three tries. However, given that he has had a taste of Super League action earlier in his young career, Elliot is excited to work towards playing in the competition once again.
“To be honest with my debut maybe it came to me a bit too fast, I moved on after getting sent on loan and it didn’t go too well for me. I decided to take a bit of a break from it, but I played a bit with Coventry, linked up with Cas this year and played some games for Midlands.”
Castleford boss Lee Radford commented on Wallis being a part of his first-team squad for 2023: “We gave Elliot a trial last season and his effort and attitude has been fantastic. Physically he ticks all the boxes that you would want from an outside back, so we will be working with him to develop his knowledge and his skill set. That is going to be our focus moving forward with him.
“For me, he was head and shoulders as one of our best Reserve team players in 2022. Elliot’s performances caught my eye, which earnt him this deal, and it is a great advertisement that here at Cas you can develop. For a kid to have time out of the game and come back, get an opportunity, and take it with both hands is a great promotion for the Reserve game.”