As teams start to crank up preparations for the upcoming season both on the field and off the field, Friday has proven to be a busy day for Castleford Tigers as they have seen a departure and a contract renewal for a very bright prospect.
Firstly, Warrington Wolves have swooped in with a £45,000 offer for 18 year old back rower Luis Johnson which, after it’s completion, is set to see the England Academy star feature in The Wire’s first team squad in 2018. This is perhaps an interesting move following Castleford’s superb campaign last time out which many may have felt would be likely to entice a higher calibre of player to Wheldon Road while also ensuring that hot prospects would feel their careers be best served by staying with the West Yorkshire team. However, Warrington’s pedigree – which usually, despite 2017, sees them in the upper echelons of Super League – coupled with what one can only assume is a very attractive financial package offered to Johnson has seen the hot prospect make the move across the Pennines and it will be very interesting to see how often he features for his new club as well as how effective he will be.
Speaking of being effective, there is no doubt at all that Cas’ Jake Trueman was that and more on his first Super League start. Following the shock news of star half back Luke Gale’s appendix problem and an emergency operation, 19 year old Trueman squared up against Wigan Warriors in September and paid back Daryl Powell’s face in him by scoring an impressive hat trick. After an impressive campaign with the under 19s team, Trueman has signed a three year contract with the club and it will surely see him feature more in 2018 as he looks to improve his game under Powell’s tutelage, stating that “I believe that this is the club that I will develop the most at.” He will be keen to put pressure on the first choice half back partnership of Gale and Ben Roberts and Powell fancies his chances, saying that “I think he is the most promising half back in the English game!”
Glowing praise, indeed, from his coach – but will he make an impact in 2018?