Powell coy on O’Brien interest as Cas chief contemplates further spending

Daryl Powell has confirmed Castleford has the salary cap space to further bolster their squad after hinting that he would have liked to sign Gareth O’Brien.

The Tigers completed the signing of former Hull FC forward Liam Watts last week in a big mid-season move.

However, Powell revealed the deal didn’t quite take them up to the £1.9 million cap, although he wouldn’t go as far as saying they would definitely delve into the transfer market once again following Watts’ arrival after reportedly missing out on the signing of O’Brien.

It’s understood the Tigers were keen to sign the former Salford fullback, who made a high-profile move to Toronto last week.

The Wolfpack are believed to have beat the Tigers to his signature, with O’Brien himself admitting he had interest from other clubs.

While Powell wouldn’t confirm the club’s interest, he revealed his admiration for the 27-year-old.

“I think he’s a really good player. There’s no doubt he would look alright in our team but he’s gone to Toronto and that’s the move he chose. I’m fairly happy with what Benny Roberts is doing for us and I think he’s going to be awesome for us.

“I think he’s one of those players that can play in a number of positions, but at the end of the day, there’s always a lot of rumours around, whether they’re right or not. I’m happy with what we’ve got from a halfback perspective and I think Benny Roberts will do well for us at halfback.”

On the club’s potential to spend further, Powell added: “We’ve still got a little bit there, whether I’ll do anything with that as we move down the line I’m not sure.”

Meanwhile, Powell confirmed that the club was continuing in its efforts to tie down some of their existing players, with the likes of Greg Eden and Jesse Sene-Lefao both out of contract at the end of the year.

“We haven’t got anything over the line yet,” he said.

“We’re still talking to players, to be honest as we have a few players off-contract. It’s ongoing.”