Wells denies Sa’u links to Castleford – but says Tigers are still in market for players

Castleford head of rugby Jon Wells has denied speculation Junior Sa’u rejected a move to the Tigers – while also shedding insight on the club’s recruitment plans for 2019.

Reports had suggested that Salford centre Sa’u had declined a chance to sign for Castleford. Wells admitted the two clubs had a ‘brief conversation’ about a move for Sa’u, but talks never reached a stage where the player became involved.

Wells told League Express: “There was a brief conversation with the Salford club, but I can confirm we never spoke to the player about a move.”

Castleford have yet to announce any new signings since the 2018 season concluded, but completed a number of deals throughout the campaign, including paying transfer fees for Hull prop Liam Watts and Leigh fullback Peter Mata’utia.

Wells reiterated that Castleford remain in the market for a new signing, with a three-quarter at the top of their hit-list, but insists a number of factors – including upgraded contracts for several key members of the current squad – have meant opportunities are limited.

“We are working within the constraints of a salary-capped sport, and you’ve seen a number of our key players like Jake Trueman, Adam Milner, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Greg Eden and Alex Foster sign new and upgraded contracts.”

“The signings of Liam and Peter were considered and thought out, where the club paid significant transfer fees to do our business.

“They have added a great deal to this squad and with the benefit of a full pre-season in our environment at Castleford, we’re confident that we will continue to step up in 2019 – especially when you add in the continued development of players like Jake Trueman and a fully-fit Luke Gale.”

Wells continued: “The emphasis now is on the right recruit to fit this squad, and we’re constantly looking – but any changes will certainly not be wholesale, as we very much like this squad and believe it does have the potential to win trophies irrespective of whether new recruits arrive.”