Nathan Massey admits it is ‘right time’ to leave Castleford Tigers

STALWART prop Nathan Massey says leaving Castleford after 19 years will be tough, but is the correct call.

The 34-year-old came through the development system at his hometown club, and has topped 300 appearances for them since making his debut in 2007.

Having had temporary spells at Featherstone, York, Gateshead (now Newcastle) and Keighley, Massey firmly established himself with the Tigers.

As well as Castleford’s 2014 and 2021 Wembley Challenge Cup final defeats by Leeds and St Helens respectively, he played in the Grand Final loss to Leeds in 2017, when Daryl Powell’s side won the League Leaders’ Shield.

“It’s emotional to be leaving but it’s probably the right time,” said Massey, who is in his testimonial year.

“I’ve loved every single minute at this club, and I am proud to have represented the jersey as I have done.

“I first started at 15 as a chubby, long-haired kid and I am leaving as a 34-year-old, so I’ve got fond memories here.

“I’ve had the privilege of growing up with some of the boys I’ve played with through the Academy, and that’s been great.

“There have been some great players here who have helped my career, namely (fellow prop) Andy Lynch, who was a big influence on me.

“Lynchy used to set the example with how hard he worked by doing extras and things like that.

“That was one of his key attributes, so I used to aspire to be like him and work as hard as he did, which put me in good stead.”

Castleford director of rugby Danny Wilson said: “Nathan has had a fantastic career at the club. He’s been a really good professional and is a good man.

“When you look at young kids coming through, you want them to model themselves on the kind of behaviours that he has shown.”