Castleford Tigers boss Craig Lingard speaks out on “embarrassing” England-France spectacle that left Sam Wood injured

CASTLEFORD TIGERS head coach Craig Lingard has spoken out on what he has deemed an “embarrassing” England-France spectacle last weekend that led to Sam Wood’s injury.

Wood has been ruled out for the entirety of the 2024 Super League season after suffering a shoulder injury, with reconstruction surgery needed to put that issue right.

However, the England-France clash was blasted for the way in which it was organised in front of less than 4,500 fans with little broadcasting coverage.

Now, Lingard has explained why there needs to be someone held accountable for the “embarrassing” fixture.

“I knew someone would ask me this. I’m wanting players to play for their country. It benefits us in the long-term that if you join Castleford you can still be an international,” Lingard said.

“I would not hold anyone back playing for their country, and I want to do as much as I can to grow the international game.

“It’s got to be better than it was. To echo Willie Peters and Matt Peet, the pinnacle of anyone’s country is to represent their country but we’ve got to make sure the spectacle represents that.

“It didn’t do any good for the game, so what we can do as a sport to grow the game? I would be fully supportive of our players if they get called up but it’s frustrating you see a player that has been influential this season in a game of the magnitude it was. It was embarrassing and frustrating.

“I don’t think the fixture was fully thought through. I’m speaking as a rugby league fan here, but who’s answerable to that as a governing body?

“Whose job is it to promote these games? This is game-wide, we could be sat here talking about the Magic Weekend in a few months and we will get there and say what a shambles it is, whose job is to promote those games?

“We seem to be rolling with the old adage that we are doing what we always have done.”

Click here to get the digital edition of League Express

Click here to subscribe to the print edition of League Express

League Express is also widely available from local newsagents across the north of England.

Click here to listen to the League Express Podcast