ALEX SUTCLIFFE says fan power has helped drive him to Castleford.
The 22-year-old Leeds centre or second rower has penned a two-year contract with a further two-year option, and says he’s hungry for success.
The Rhinos Academy product joins Hull winger Bureta Faraimo, Warrington centre Jake Mamo and Wakefield loose-forward Joe Westerman as new arrivals, while Huddersfield second rower Kenny Edwards is moving to the Jungle on a season-long loan as the Tigers aim to bounce back after missing out on this year’s play-offs.
Castleford, who will be under the command of Lee Radford after Daryl Powell’s switch to Warrington, are also being linked with forward George Lawler, whose departure from Hull KR has been confirmed.
Sutcliffe, whose adaptability is seen as a big plus by Castleford, said: “I can’t wait, I am really looking forward to it and I’m itching to get going.
“I have always admired how Castleford play and I love the fans there. I love how vocal they are, especially with them being so close to the pitch.
“It makes it like having an extra man on the field. The fans are such a big part of it, for me.”
Sutcliffe is looking forward to working with ex-Hull coach Radford.
“I like the way he sets things out, so I can’t wait for him to take me under his wing and make me a physically tough player,” he explained.
“Personally, I prefer the second row position because you are more involved and more in the nitty-gritty stuff.
“I don’t mind a bit of physicality. I pride my game on it, especially in my defence, but I don’t mind playing centre either.
“I have been with Leeds for eight years and have been privileged enough to win a Challenge Cup (in 2020), so it’s been class. I owe a lot to them.
“This season Castleford have played a number of young players, and there is some really exciting talent coming through.”
Radford said: “I’m surprised we had the opportunity to pick Alex up. I would love for him to nail down a second row spot.”
One player at Castleford who will be staying at the club is Tyla Hepi, who has signed a new contract that will keep him at the club for a further two seasons.
Hepi initially joined the Tigers ahead of the 2020 season from Toulouse Olympique and is considered to be federation trained, therefore not counting on the club’s overseas quota.
“Tyla plays with a really good energy. I like what he does and what he brings to the team,” said Radford.
“I actually played with his dad, which is a sign of my age!
“He’s a real honest working frontrower and one I am really looking forward to coaching.”