Tigers drawn to Ashworth

St Helens forward Jack Ashworth could be on the move next year after attracting interest from other clubs.

The 24-year-old forward, a member of Saints’ Grand Final winning side last season, is off-contract at the end of the year and has emerged as a target for several rivals, with Castleford among the potential suitors for the Rochdale-born prop.

Ashworth played 28 times for the Champions last season, but the Saints pack appears to be set for change next season. Luke Thompson will go to Canterbury Bulldogs while Ashworth, Kyle Amor, Zeb Taia and Dom Peyroux are all off-contract. Although none of the quartet has signed elsewhere, it has given Saints coach Kristian Woolf the opportunity to flex his muscle in the recruitment market should he wish to do so, having not made a single signing in the off-season.

Even if Taia and Peyroux are retained, Saints have two full quota spots they can use to spruce up their squad for 2021.

James Tamou is one player on their radar and it’s believed Woolf has a number of other potential targets in mind, with a chunk of the club’s cap space also unused at the minute.

As for Ashworth, the prop has made an impression, but with Alex Walmsley and Matty Lees providing competition for game-time, and with other forwards set to arrive, a move elsewhere could be on the agenda.

Castleford’s interest stems from several of their existing forwards also being off-contract. Five members of the club’s pack – Junior Moors, Grant Millington, Mike McMeeken, Matt Cook and Daniel Smith are in the final months of their existing deals.

The Tigers are considering a number of potential recruits in the pack and have been linked with a move for Parramatta prop Kane Evans, though his wage demands have so far put off all interested parties, with Evans’ representatives commanding marquee money to sign the 28-year-old.
Another player Cas have been linked with is Huddersfield’s Suaia Matagi, though that is wide of the mark. A report over the weekend claimed the Giants powerhouse was off-contract at the end of the season but he is actually signed to the Giants until the end of the 2021 season.