Castleford Tigers’ new recruit Rangi Chase will start training with the club today (Monday) following the shock announcement of his signing on Saturday morning.
The Tigers have signed Chase, who pulled out of his two-year contract with Leigh Centurions in May because of an accumulation of dispiriting injuries that affected his confidence, until the end of the 2016 season, with an option to extend the deal further into the future.
Chase, who only played five games for the Centurions, could feature in the Tigers’ next home game against Catalans Dragons this Sunday.
Now aged 30, the former England star won the Man of Steel award and the Albert Goldthorpe Medal while a Tigers player in 2011. He played for England in the 2013 World Cup, qualifying on residential grounds, but was not selected for the crucial semi-final when England were beaten by New Zealand.
At the end of the 2013 season he left the Tigers to join Salford on a four-year contract, although he was never able to replicate the success he had enjoyed at Castleford. He left the Red Devils to join Leigh in October 2015, when his contract with the Red Devils was formally terminated.
Chase now relishes the chance to return to the club he still calls home.
“I’ve been thinking about rugby a lot while I’ve been away from the game, and I’ve been thinking about my Cas days, as those were the times when I was really happy,” said Chase.
“When the opportunity came up to come back to this great club I took it with both hands. I wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip away from me.
“It’s like coming back home for me; I love the people here. This move is purely about the badge and the way it made me feel when I played for it. I feel so blessed to be here and I thank God and everyone at this great club for giving me a second chance at Castleford Tigers.”
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell, who spent less than a year coaching Chase after his appointment at the Tigers in May 2013, is happy to welcome him back into the Tigers’ fold.
“I am really pleased to be able to add to our squad at such a crucial stage in the season,” said Powell.
“Rangi is a high quality player who knows so much about Castleford Tigers and what it means to play for this club.
“It’s a great opportunity for Rangi to make a big impact again in Super League and it gives us great competition for places in such key a key position as halfback. I look forward to welcoming Rangi to the club and seeing him pull on the famous shirt yet again.”
Tigers chief executive Steve Gill admits that the Tigers thought long and hard about approaching Chase to return to the club.
“Daryl and I have talked at length about the possibility for Rangi Chase rejoining our club, and I’m delighted to give Rangi this opportunity, and bring him home,” said Gill.
“He’ll add a real flair and competition for places at such a vital time in our season.”
This article originally appeared in League Express, buy the new edition today in stores or online by clicking here.