Tigers give new deal to young prospect

Castleford Tigers have confirmed that centre or backrow forward Brad Graham has signed a one-year contract extension.

The 20-year-old, a product of the Tigers’ Academy, was an England Youth international before making his Super League debut in October 2020 against Hull FC.

“I’ve been here since I was 14 and I’m really happy,” said Graham.

“Obviously, with a new coach coming in and being given a year’s contract to see what I can do under a new staff with the team, I’m hoping to really kick on and develop my game under Lee (Radford).

“I’m really looking forward to it, a new coach, new ideas, new things to be brought to the table. I’ll always be grateful to Daryl Powell for giving me my Super League debut and a chance to sign for first team. But he’s moved on, Lee’s come in and I’m really looking forward to working with Lee and seeing what happens.

“I’m from five minutes down the road in Wakefield, but since signing at Cas I’ve done all my teenage years here. I’m pleased I get to do another year to go around again.”

Graham will be one of the youngsters within the Castleford First Team environment, alongside teammates Brad Martin, Sam Hall, and Lewis Peachey who have recently had their contract extensions announced.

Graham has also been one of the leaders in the Under 19’s Academy team in 2021, in a season that saw them win 11 of their 14 matches.

“You’ve got to go through the different stepping-stones to get to First Team level. Both the Academy and Scholarship systems really helped me out at the club.

“The Academy has had a really good season, it’s been really good for me to get more rugby league minutes into after the pandemic, and it’s good to see the game is getting back on its feet.”

New Tigers Tigers coach Lee Radford commented on the news of Graham’s extension, saying: “Brad’s adaptable, as has been shown by playing centre or back row for Academy, and winger in the first team.

“I like what I saw of Brad in the back row when he’s played there, he ticks all the boxes from an athleticism perspective, he’s aggressive, and for a backrower, he’s got great pace as well.

“A great kid and another one I’m looking forward to coaching.”