Walmsley rubbishes Castleford rumours

Alex Walmsley has admitted he was surprised as anyone to see himself linked with a move to Castleford.

The St Helens forward was the subject of intense speculation earlier this year, with rumours suggesting he could be on his way to the league leaders next season.

The in-form forward will face the Tigers tonight in the opening Super 8s game of the season, and he laughed off the rumours, confirming he was not set for a move to West Yorkshire.

“I found out when everyone else did,” Walmsley said.

“There’s been no sort of approach to me directly. Unless there’s something I don’t know about there has been no contact and I’ve not been told otherwise. So it’s fair to say I don’t think I’ll be a Castleford player next year; I’ll be wearing a Saints shirt in 2018.”

Walmsley is off-contract at the end of next season, and with it will come inevitable interest following an outstanding campaign for Justin Holbrook’s men.

But the 27-year-old insists his priority right now is to focus on landing a plane ticket to the World Cup with England.

“I’m never going to come out and say I’m confident. All I can do is keep trying to perform like I am doing for St Helens and hopefully they’ll speak for themselves and I might get an opportunity at the end of the year.

“It’s a big target for me. At the start of the year it wasn’t so much on my mind after missing out on the train-on squad, but after touring in Sydney and missing out on the squad it’s certainly great motivation for me.”