Castleford Tigers captain Luke Gale admits he knocked back interest from the NRL to sign a five-year contract with the club.
With a year remaining on his existing deal, the club and Gale have agreed a new long-term deal which keeps him at Castleford until the end of the 2021 season. And Gale insisted that it was not a difficult decision to extend his stay at the Tigers.
“I’m delighted; it was quite an easy decision really,” he told League Express this past Monday.
“I’m enjoying my rugby at Cas and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been playing the sport: why change a good thing like this?”
Gale also revealed that potential interest from the NRL was put on the back burner as talk of a long-term future with Castleford became clear.
“We had another year left on the existing deal but Cas wanted to extend it and when me and my agent sat down, we had a chat and I didn’t want to move on.
“I certainly don’t want to play for anyone else in Super League and whilst there was a bit of interest from the NRL, there’s just no reason to go anywhere else.
“I’m turning 28 later this month so all parties sat down and there was no real discussion about being tentative over the length of deal.
“Sometimes you can sign two or three-year contracts but this is a proper long-term deal; I’m coming into the prime of my career I feel and I want Castleford to reap the benefits of that, hopefully.”
Gale elaborated on the NRL interest, saying: “Australia is obviously a dream and lads like Elliott Whitehead and Josh Hodgson have gone there and done really well.
“However, I’ve enjoyed life here so much over the last couple of years and had a permanent smile on my face, there’s no reason to go anywhere else.
“People have moved in the past and gone elsewhere but the grass isn’t always greener, is it?”
Gale admitted that a major part of his decision to stay also came down what he sees in the future of the club.
“I wouldn’t have stayed here if I didn’t think we could win something,” he said. “Daryl has got a fantastic squad here which is building and improving all the time.
“It’s a very young squad and we’ve got a squad that is blessed with depth – so I genuinely believe we can do something very special in the coming years.”