Castleford Tigers have confirmed that Jesse Sene-Lefao will leave the club at the end of the current Betfred Super League season.
Sene-Lefao, 31, joined the Tigers for the 2017 season from NRL side Cronulla Sharks, quickly becoming a fans’ favourite and becoming a part of the local Castleford community, making themselves very much at home.
With over 100 Castleford appearances to his name, Sene-Lefao in his five seasons as a Castleford player has helped the club reach both the Super League Grand Final and the Challenge Cup Final, as well as lift the League Leaders’ Shield.
In recent weeks he reached his 150th career appearance, 100 of which have come in Super League for Castleford, with his hundredth at Dacia Magic Weekend 2021.
Speaking about the news to castlefordtigers.com, Sene-Lefao said: “There are not many words that I can say that would show my appreciation for the club itself and what I’ve achieved over here. Every moment is special and there is definitely pride in the jersey that I wear every week, that is something I’m going to miss. It’s also a jersey that is hard to put on every week, always challenging.
“I could never think five years ago that I would be here still and playing for Cas, such a beautiful town, and the people here. The support has been awesome. It is sad to say that the time is up but when one door closes, another door opens and it’s another opportunity for me and I’m excited for that, but our season isn’t finished. I’m looking forward to the next couple of games.”
“From the first training session pretty much in the snow, it opened my eyes up with how things were going to be, the boys were awesome, very welcoming.
“It’s such a lovely feeling to know that I’ve played here for five years and to achieve the things that I have done here – I’m grateful.”
Sene-Lefao is hoping to finish his time with the Tigers than by lifting the Super League trophy.
“To get the trophy at the end would mean the world, all the hard work that we’ve put in for the last five years would show. Making that final for Wembley was awesome in itself, obviously, we didn’t get the trophy that day but man, what a journey it was just to even get there in the things we had to overcome. There is another trophy at hand now, that’s the main focus at the moment, everything else will look after itself.”
In a heartfelt message to the Castleford faithful, Lefao shared his thanks for all the support he has always received as a Tigers player.
“Honestly from the day I got off the plane to now, when I walk in the street, I’m so proud to be a Castleford player and I’ve really appreciated your time and all the hellos and messages I get on social media. Make sure you come down to The Jungle, my last home game will be against Warrington.
“Thank you and love you all.”
Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell commented on the news saying: “Jesse is such a bundle of energy – the fans love him because of who he is and the way he goes about things. He’s a very religious man, I ask him to say a prayer for us every now and then depending on what’s happening.
“He has been a quality player for us, 2017 was a massive year for him, I think he was unbelievable that year and he’s consistently been in our team as a back-rower since.
“A real strong player and as a personality he is a really great family man who does everything he can for his family. In and around the community he is hugely respected, and he will be very fondly remembered by everybody.”