Castleford sign up six youngsters for academy

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CASTLEFORD Tigers have signed six promising year 11 students for next year’s academy.

Loose-forward or stand-off Jordan Howden, back row Matty Burman and back row or centre Jordan Sharp, from Stanley Rangers; centre Liam Blockley, from Oulton Raiders; half-back Thomas Holmes, from Castleford Lock Lane; and prop Ben Passmore, from Hunslet Parkside, who has represented England at youth level for the last two years have all have signed professional terms with the club on two-year deals:

Steve Gill, head of youth development, said: “I’m really pleased with the signings we have made for 2013. A lot of groundwork has been done by our head of talent Identification, Steve Copley, and player performance manager Richard Tunningley and I would also like to thank head coach Ian Millward, CEO Steve Ferres and the board of directors for their continued support.”

While five of the signings will continue into further education, Howden will train full-time with the Tigers. He joins the likes of Joe Westerman, Richard Owen and Jordan Thompson who all entered into full-time training after leaving high school. All three went on to play first-team rugby for Cas and Howden will be hoping to do the same.

Head coach Ian Millward was full of praise for the work done by Copley.

He said: “I’m really impressed with Steve Copley’s energy and enthusiasm and young Jordan is a product of that. A number of clubs were interested in him and as a young player in such a dominant position it is great that he is heading straight in to full-time training.”