Castleford Tigers’ retention focusing on youth as experienced stars still in the dark

Castleford Tigers have tied down emerging forward Sam Hall on a new contract to 2024, although coach Lee Radford is giving little away about exactly who might be playing alongside him during that time.

Jake Mamo, Jason Qareqare and Cain Robb are all under contract until then, while Paul McShane’s current deal runs until 2025, and the contracts of Niall Evalds (to 2023), Mahe Fonua (2022), Callum McLelland (2023) and Alex Sutcliffe (2023) include extension options.

Another group, including Bureta Faraimo, George Lawler, Gareth O’Brien, Nathan Massey, Jacques O’Neill, Daniel Smith, Jordan Turner, Liam Watts and Joe Westerman, have deals to the end of next year.

But those coming out of contract include Greg Eden, Sosaia Feki, George Griffin, Derrell Olpherts, Danny Richardson and Jake Trueman, who has been strongly linked with Hull, while Castleford are said to be interested in Jacob Miller and his fellow halfback Gareth Widdop, who are out of contract and Wakefield and Warrington respectively, as well as Leeds duo Alex Mellor and Jack Broadbent.

Asked about retention and recruitment, Radford, who replaced Daryl Powell over the close-season, said: “I’m happy with how that is going.

“We are not completely signed off on it yet – I think bringing in what’s available at that time is the cards you are dealt but trying to freshen the place up is what’s important.”

Hall, 20, who has been loaned to London Broncos for a month, came through the club’s development system and made his debut in 2020, since when there have been four further appearances.

He has represented the Reserves regularly, captaining the side on occasions, and said: “I’ve been here since Scholarship now, so I’m coming up to five years at the club and I feel very much at home.

“The depth of the forwards we’ve got in the team, for someone like me who is not playing loads at the minute, means I’m able to learn from them. It’s good.

“Westy is ball playing and we’ve got Smiggy (Smith) and Wattsy running it in, and it’s taking different bits off everyone.”

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