Jordan Rankin admits he knew he was out of favour at Huddersfield in 2019, but he believes his new club Castleford Tigers could help him reach his potential as a Super League player in 2019.
Rankin has swapped clubs with Tigers forward Joe Wardle on an initial loan arrangement which is likely to become permanent at some stage this year. The Australian had been issued with the number 22 shirt at Huddersfield before the deal materialised, and Rankin told League Express that he had already felt it was time for a change before the opportunity to join Castleford materialised.
“I knew quite early on that the writing was on the wall for me at Huddersfield this year for a few different reasons,” he said.
“Squad numbers give you a bit of an insight into that, but I knew before pre-season started where their intentions were for me this year.
“I wasn’t content being a backup for anyone when it comes to rugby so I knew it was probably time to change clubs anyway. I’ve got a new start at Castleford and I’m eager to show people there what I’m all about.”
He continued: “It happened as quick as you’d expect. I got a call on Friday morning and by 3pm, I’d signed. I’m not disrespecting Huddersfield, because they gave me the chance to come back here, but Castleford is a massive opportunity. I’m over the moon to join a club that has done some special things in the last few seasons.”
Rankin, who admits he’s happy to slot in at either halfback or fullback for his new side, and who will take squad number 32 at the Tigers, also admits he’s eager to join a club where, in recent years, halves have developed under the guidance of Daryl Powell and his coaching staff.
He said: “Luke Gale has become an outstanding player there in the last few years, and Jake Trueman looks to be going the same way, so it’s clear those players are coming into their own in the environment at Castleford. They play a fantastic brand of rugby and I’m hoping to reap the benefits of that this season.
“I’m well from reaching my potential yet. I know I’m a work in progress, but for me, playing in numerous different positions, I haven’t hit my potential yet so I’m just waiting for the right opportunity to do that. I think Castleford is that opportunity with the style of play and the size of the club.”
Last week the Tigers revealed that former Leeds and Hull Kingston rovers forward Chris Clarkson, 28, has joined the Tigers on trial for the pre-season period.
The club also revealed that the RFL had granted the Tigers salary cap relief in the light of Luke Gale’s season-ending injury.