Sydney Roosters forward admits Castleford Tigers move “likely” but makes relegation admission

CASTLEFORD TIGERS are a Super League club desperate for new blood – both for the remainder of the 2023 season as well as from 2024 and beyond.

The West Yorkshire club have already brought in Warrington Wolves halfback Riley Dean as well as Canterbury Bulldogs forward Billy Tsikrikas and former Castleford man Alex Foster.

However, they have also been linked to numerous players, including Papua New Guinea internationals Sylvester Namo and Nixon Putt as well as Sydney Roosters forward Elie El-Zakhem.

The Lebanese forward has yet to make a first-grade appearance for the Roosters, but has outlined his desire to make the move to Super League – and spoke about Castleford being the “most likely destination” – even in the short-term.

“I’d be keen to come over to Super League which is something I am strongly looking into,” El-Zakhem told League Express.

“And, Castleford is the most likely destination for me so I would definitely be tempted with Super League offers even in the short-term just to keep playing at a professional level.

“In the long-term, I want to play in the Super League or the NRL and make a name for myself.”

The Tigers are currently in a relegation battle, with Andy Last’s men just two points ahead of bitter local rivals Wakefield Trinity.

With that in mind, El-Zakhem has admitted that a move to Castleford could “possibly” break down with the club’s relegation.

“I haven’t really considered it as I’m keen to come over but I also want to play in Super League.

“Possibly (I might not join) with relegation, but I am undecided.”

The 25-year-old has made five appearances for Lebanon since making his international debut in 2019.