Super League 2024: Castleford Tigers preview, players to watch and predicted finish

Rugby League World says

SINCE the heights of the League Leaders Shield and a Grand Final appearance in 2017 times have been a struggle for the Tigers. 

Last season’s double coaching change, firstly from Lee Radford to Andy Last, and then Last to Danny Ward, saw the club spend most of the year staring at another relegation battle rather than the play-off push they were starting to get used to. 

They survived, at the expense of Wakefield, but more changes were afoot, with Craig Lingard, previously appointed as Last’s assistant, handed the task to turn the club’s recent slump around.

Having previously worked wonders with Keighley Cougars in League One, and turning Batley into real challengers in the Championship, Lingard has been rewarded with a chance to do the same in Super League.

Lingard’s success at his previous clubs developed gradually, so he can no doubt have the same effect at the Jungle, but he needs to be given time. It will happen, just maybe not this year.

Three to watch

Jack Broadbent enjoyed a fine first season with the Tigers, missing only two games and being one of few players to emerge from 2023 with credit. As well as watching how he plays, watch where he plays – the 23-year-old featured in positions from fullback to hooker last year and will hope to nail a regular spot.

Luke Hooley joins Castleford after just one season with Leeds, in which only in the final stages of the season did he get a run of games. He is reuniting with Craig Lingard, who has coached him so successfully at Batley over the past four years. He looks set to be the Tigers’ first-choice fullback from the off.

Danny Richardson last played a game in September 2022, spending the entirety of last season sidelined by an ACL injury. That was the latest of several major setbacks in his career, and keeping fit will be his first aim. If he can do that, he is the sort of talent that Castleford can build a team around.

Did you know?

Castleford claimed a unique hat-trick by winning the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy in its first three seasons. They defeated St Helens in the 1965-66 final, when Wheldon Road had just become illuminated, Swinton in 1966-67 and Leigh in 1967-68. The trophy was also won in 1976-77.


1 Luke Hooley, 2 Josh Simm, 3 Jack Broadbent, 4 Sam Wood, 5 Innes Senior, 6 Danny Richardson, 7 Jacob Miller, 8 Liam Watts, 9 Paul McShane, 10 George Lawler, 11 Elie El-Zakhem, 12 Alex Mellor, 13 Joe Westerman, 14 Liam Horne, 15 George Griffin, 16 Rowan Milnes, 17 Nixon Putt, 18 Josh Hodson, 19 Sam Hall, 20 Muizz Mustapha, 21 Sylvester Namo, 22 Charbel Tasipale, 23 Jason Qareqare, 24 Cain Robb, 25 Brad Martin, 26 Samy Kibula, 27 Albert Vete, 28 Will Tate, 29 George Hill, 30 Luis Johnson, 31 Fletcher Rooney, – Daniel Hindmarsh.

Potential milestones

George Griffin needs 21 appearances for 100 for the club…
Paul McShane needs 5 appearances for 350 in his career…
Jacob Miller needs 24 appearances for 250 in Super League…
Joe Westerman needs 1 appearance for 350 in Super League

RLW predicts: 11th

First published in Rugby League World magazine, Issue 492 (January 2024)

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