Radford appoints McShane as Tigers’ skipper

Castleford Tigers coach Lee Radford has appointed Paul McShane as the club captain for the 2022 season.

McShane, 32 who joined the Tigers in 2015, was the starting hooker in both of England’s matches in 2021, and in 2020 he received the Steve Prescott Man of Steel Award.

He will take over the captaincy from Michael Shenton, who retired last year and is now an assistant coach at Hull FC.

McShane will become the 35th player in Castleford’s 96-year history to be named captain.

Speaking about his appointment, McShane said: “I’m very proud to be able to represent this club; I haven’t hidden that I absolutely love playing for Cas and it spurs me on to do even better.

“When I spoke to my wife, she said ‘You don’t understand how big a deal it is’, but for me, I’m just going out and playing rugby with a bunch of blokes that I’ve got a lot of respect for at a club I love playing for. For me, it is something I am going to love doing week in and week out.

“There is a connection; I just love coming to work every day driving down the main road and you see a Cas shirt – there is nothing better than playing in front of these fans. Win or lose they are supporting you. It wasn’t that good when I was playing against Cas… but even then, I loved coming and playing here.”

McShane admits that he learned a lot from Shenton’s leadership and will be drawing on his own experiences with the modern-day Castleford legend.

“Shenny is probably the captain that I have got on with most and who got the best out of me. When I first came to Cas, he kind of put an arm around me. For me it is probably about learning from the stuff Shenny did when I first came in, and trying to keep the stuff that he built within this group.

“I’ll probably stick to what I’ve been doing, I’ve kind of had that leadership role for a couple of years now. I just know that I’m going to give it my all.”

For Radford, the appointment of McShane was not a difficult decision.

“It was an easy decision;  his leadership qualities on the field are there to see for everyone and I think there is some development there as well in his leadership off the field as well. He does the right things as a footballer, and the blokes have got so much respect for him around the place,” said Radford.

“He has all the qualities you would want in a senior bloke on the field, I think he’s tough, smart, and has a never say die attitude which helps. For that reason, the opposition respects him and his own team-mates love being alongside him. I think he’s going to be a success in that role.”