Castleford Tigers Recruitment Challenges Amid Super League Uncertainty

Rugby League: Castleford Tigers Face Recruitment Challenges Amid Super League Uncertainty

Castleford Tigers’ head coach Craig Lingard has revealed that players were “reluctant” to commit to the club for the upcoming season due to lingering questions over their Super League status. The team’s indicative grading from last October had originally placed them outside the top 12 spots, raising concerns among the club’s supporters, as they sat below Toulouse Olympique and Wakefield Trinity, who currently compete in the RFL Championship.

However, Lingard emphasized that the club’s ranking was incorrect, and they have outlined plans to achieve a Grade A score by the end of the 2025 season, targeting a score of 14.25 by the end of 2024. While the signs are positive, Lingard acknowledged that there are still some uncertainties surrounding their place in the Super League, as the final spots for 2025 have yet to be determined.

Lingard revealed that the club’s recruitment efforts have been hindered by this uncertainty, with players and agents being “reluctant to commit” to the Tigers in recent months. He noted that the current player market in the UK is relatively stagnant, with high-quality players receiving interest from multiple clubs.

“We have been speaking to players, agents and clubs over in Australia about trying to get people in. We’ve missed out on a couple of targets that have stayed in the NRL. We are looking and having conversations but it’s difficult.”

As a result, the Castleford Tigers have been exploring options overseas, particularly in the Australian National Rugby League (NRL), to bolster their squad. Despite the challenges, Lingard remains confident that the Castleford Tigers will secure their place in the Super League, stating, “We’re really confident that we’re going to be in Super League and are not planning for anything else other than Super League.”

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