Castleford Tigers winger Derrell Olpherts joins Super League rivals

CASTLEFORD Tigers winger Derrell Olpherts has joined a Super League rival on a two-year deal following a number of seasons at the Jungle.

The 30-year-old has joined the Leeds Rhinos to become part of Rohan Smith’s revolution at Headingley.

Olpherts spent three seasons at the Tigers playing in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley in 2021 and scoring 36 tries in 54 appearances. Last season, he collected an impressive 18 tries as well as a host of top performances. He was third in Super League for metres made behind the Rhinos Ash Handley and Wigan’s Jai Field, he was second for carries, only behind new team mate Handley and was the top player in Super League for tackle busts, ahead of Field and St Helens’ Jack Welsby.

He can play at centre or wing and was targeted by Rhinos Head Coach Rohan Smith because of his versatility. He has previously played at Dewsbury and Newcastle in the lower leagues before getting his breakthrough in Super League with Salford in 2018.

Commenting on the signing Head Coach Rohan Smith said, “We are pleased to confirm Derrell’s signing. He is a talented player who can play anywhere in the backline. He showed last season in particular that he is an outstanding try scorer as well and I look forward to seeing him as part of our existing backline.”

Olpherts is excited to be joining the Super League Grand Finalists, he commented, “It is a great time to be at this club and I am looking forward to getting stuck in. I am looking to elevate my game here at the Rhinos. I am looking forward to working under Rohan Smith, I am sure he will help me develop my game and develop me as a person as well.

“I didn’t really play winger until I came into Super League and I played my rugby before then as a centre or full back. I am happy to play at centre as well, I know that is something that Rohan has spoken about, and I’ll be working hard to add that versatility to my game and achieve good things here.

“The squad did fantastic last year and to get to a Grand Final just shows how much effort and skill there is around the place. Hopefully I can add to the squad and help us go one step further.

“The back line are all exciting players. It is good to be an addition to that and be around those players, challenging myself to be as good as I can be and working with my new team mates. There is great competition within the group with everyone challenged to get a starting spot and that brings a lot of excitement.

“I will be one of the first players back in for pre-season and I can’t wait. Obviously the senior guys got to a Grand Final last year and there are players involved in the World Cup but I am excited to get in and get involved with the talented young players here at Leeds. Headingley is always an exciting place to play and I am looking forward to making it my new home,” added Olpherts.