Castleford aiming to offer new deal to McMeeken

Mike McMeeken.
Mike McMeeken.

Castleford Tigers are looking to tie down improving young forward Mike McMeeken to a longer contract following his development into an England international back rower.

The 23-year-old from Basingstoke has another year left on his contract beyond 2017, but head coach Daryl Powell is hoping a longer deal can be agreed with the player.

He said: “He’s been a great player so far for us this season and hopefully he can continue that.

“For us, we want to be extending his contract moving forward.

“He played for England against Samoa and I’d like to think he is there or thereabouts in the World Cup frame. I think that’s what he’s aiming for.

“He’s got next season under contract, but it will be part of what we want to do to extend it.

“We want to keep our best players that’s for certain.”

McMeeken is believed to be one of the players about to be awarded a Rugby League central contract where selected stars will be given an additional sum of money in return for some promotional work and in a bid to keep them in the sport in this country, but Powell was not aware of such a deal.

He added: “I think that’s down to the RFL. They make decisions on that, how they choose to do that I don’t know.

“I haven’t heard anything about the criteria so I’ll leave that to them.”