Castleford and Featherstone players heading for Australia to play in World Cup

Frankie Mariano, heading for the World Cup with Australia.
Frankie Mariano, heading for the World Cup with Australia.

Four current Castleford Tigers players are heading down under for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

Half-back Luke Gale and back rower Mike McMeeken are in the England squad, while stand-off Ben Roberts has been chosen by Samoa and prop forward Gadwin Springer takes his place in the France squad.

Winger Garry Lo, who will join up with the Tigers for next season after signing from Sheffield Eagles, is in the Papua New Guinea squad.

Another of Castleford’s new signings, Joe Wardle, was expected to be named in the Scotland squad, but asked to stay at home for family reasons after moving back to England following his move from NRL club Newcastle Knights.

Featherstone Rovers’ former Tigers player Frankie Mariano is travelling with the Scotland squad and will be joined in that team by ex-Cas players Ryan Brierley, Danny Brough and Jonathan Walker, plus ex-Featherstone player Ben Hellewell and Pontefract-born Danny Addy and Dale Ferguson.

Former Castleford and Featherstone Rovers players Michael Channing (Wales) and Liam Finn (Ireland) will also be involved in the World Cup with Finn skippering the Irish side.

It has surprised supporters that more Castleford players have not made the England squad despite their fantastic season when they topped the Super League table by 10 points and reached a first Grand Final.

Full-back Zak Hardaker would have been included, but for his positive drugs test, but there has been no place found for Super League’s top scorer, Greg Eden, nor Tigers skipper Michael Shenton, who was also included in the Dream Team.

Hooker Paul McShane and loose forward Adam Milner could also count themselves unlucky not to be on the plane after their outstanding 2017.

The World Cup gets under way on Friday, October 27 with England taking on Australia in Melbourne. In their group England will also meet Lebanon on November 4 and France on November 12,