Castleford Tigers looking to make one addition to squad

Castleford Tigers director of rugby Jon Wells.
Castleford Tigers director of rugby Jon Wells.

Castleford Tigers are looking to bring in an addition to their squad for the 2019 Betfred Super League season, director or rugby Jon Wells has admitted.

So far in the close season Castleford have not brought in a single player while several, including Jake Webster, Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e and Jy Hitchcox, have left the club.

It has led to frustrations among supporters who have seen rival clubs significantly strengthen their teams.

But the Tigers say they are happy with their existing squad, although they are looking to bring in one signing ahead of the new season, which starts next February.

They want to bring in the right man, however, and will not be making a signing just for the sake of it.

Wells explained: “There certainly won’t be wholesale changes and the emphasis right now is on finding possibly one more addition if we can.

“We’re constantly looking to do that, but we very much like this squad and believe it does have the potential to challenge for trophies, irrespective of whether new recruits arrive or not.

“It’s not always about new personnel; it’s about unlocking the next stage of development in the personnel we’ve already got.’“If you look at centre specifically, we’re looking at Greg Minikin, Fozzy [Alex Foster] or Ben Roberts as being genuine quality options on that right edge for us if required.

“With the likes of Luke Gale, Alex Foster, Greg Minikin, Greg Eden and Matt Cook fit and healthy again after missing large parts of last season through injury, we have every right to be excited about the players we already have.

“We are looking to further strengthen the squad if the right player becomes available, but Daryl (Powell) and I are also very happy with what’s already in place.”

Castleford did sign Liam Watts and Peter Mata’utia during the last campaign and they will be starting their first pre-season with the team next Monday.

Wells added: “The signings of Liam and Peter were considered and thought out and 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 we will continue to step up in 2019, especially when you add in the ongoing development of players like Jake Trueman, the reigning Super League young player of the year.

“We are working within the constraints of a salary-capped sport and you’ve seen a number of key players such as Jake sign new and upgraded contracts and that consistency in the squad can be a real strength.

“What we do have here is a deep squad and that means that we can have a Jamie Ellis come in and win a game for us, for example. Players like Mitch Clark and Calum Turner also came in last year and those players are a lot better than what several other teams have in their equivalent numbers in the squad.”