After enjoying his first taste of Super League action in the 32-16 win over Hull KR promising youngster Jacques O’Neill is eager to gain more experience in the Castleford Tigers senior team.
The Cumbrian-born hooker has vowed to work even harder now in a bid to earn more first team call-ups in the 2019 season.
He impressed his head coach, Daryl Powell, with his second half stint against KR and has retained his place in the 19-man squad for the trip to Warrington Wolves, although he may have to bide his time for a second senior appearance if England international Adam Milner recovers from injury in time to play.
O’Neill relived his excitement at making his debut after the Hull game.
He said: “Getting out there and making my debut was better than I expected, to be honest.
“I always said I wanted a home debut, to get in front of the fans, so it was great.
“All the boys go on about how good the fans are. When you watch it from the stands you think they’re good, but when you are on the pitch it’s something else. It just gives you that buzz.
“I just need to work harder than ever now. Macca (Paul McShane) is so good, I just need to learn off him and hopefully in a couple of years I’ll be the number nine at Cas.”
O’Neill was praised by Cas boss Powell, who said: “I was really pleased for Jacques O’Neill and for him to come on.
“I think he had Mose Masoe come at him three times and did a fantastic job on him.
“We know he’s a tough kid anyway, but for him to defend as he did on his debut I was really pleased for him and I thought he carried the ball pretty well also. That will be massive for Jacques.”