Castleford Tigers Super League

Gale suffers possible season-ending injury

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After an injury hit 2018, England half-back Luke Gale will have been keen to have a big Super League season this year where he would have been keen to help his Castleford teammates to silverware after their strong recent seasons.

However, after suffering a serious achilles injury in training, the 30-year-old may well be set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines. Initial reports suggest that it could rule him out for the entire season but there is yet to be formal confirmation of the length of his absence. In a statement released on the Tigers’ official website, it was revealed that Gale is set to see a specialist this week for assessment but the club’s Director of Rugby admitted that it didn’t look great for the 2017 Super League Man of Steel.

“Luke has suffered a suspected ruptured achilles tendon during training over the weekend. He will be seeing a specialist to assess the seriousness of the injury but unfortunately the prognosis doesn’t look great,” he explained, adding praise for how the Cas’ talisman has reacted to off-season knee surgery in preparation for 2019. “This is likely to be another significant setback for him but having known Luke for many years I know that he is an extremely strong character and a resilient member of our squad who will be doing everything he can to overcome this latest hurdle and return fit and healthy to the Tigers fold in the future,” he continued.

While not confirmed, it may be that the club can remove his salary from the club’s cap for the season which would obviously allow Daryl Powell and Wells to recruit a replacement for Gale. That, however, may not ring true – further information will no doubt emerge in the coming days and weeks.

Castleford Tigers match reports and previews Super League

Report: Young wingers shine for Tigers

GILLCastleford Tigers 56-0 Featherstone Rovers

Sunday afternoon saw Castleford thrash neighbours Featherstone Rovers 56-0 at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle with young Tigers wingers Kieran Gill and Lewis Carr both crossing for hat-tricks.

A team with a mix of experienced first-teamers, youngsters and newly-signed reserves made the short trip to the Tigers while their hosts, much like Fev, had a mix of first-team experience and youth in their ranks. Cas showed their Super League class with some excellent finishing while demonstrating their defensive steel in keeping the Betfred Championship team scoreless over the eighty minutes.

That, perhaps, will have pleased head coach Daryl Powell most with the boss having outlined his desire for his team to improve their toughness and mental strength on the pitch in a bid to compete in the big matches. While academy wingers Carr and Gill – the latter has signed a season-long loan deal which will see him play for Newcastle in 2019 – shone and will get the plaudits, James Clare (2), Jake Sweeting and Calum Turner crossed for the Super League side. Greg Minikin also scored after starting the match in the centres as the former York man aims to impress Powell sufficiently to be Jake Webster’s replacement as one of the Tigers’ two first-choice centres.


Castleford Tigers Super League

Gale set to miss KO due to injury

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Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell has admitted that star playmaker Luke Gale is set to miss the start of the 2019 Super League campaign due to injury.

After having his appendix removed in September 2017, England international Gale made a startlingly quick return from surgery to prove the match-winner of the play-off semi-final against St Helens, the 30-year-old kicked the crucial drop goal to send the Tigers to their first Super League Grand Final. The Leeds academy graduate was unable to guide Cas to the title, however, and the 2018 season proved to be an injury-hit one for the nine-time England international. He made just fifteen appearances in all competitions for the Tigers and had to remove himself from availability for England’s post-season test series against New Zealand due to knee surgery.

That issue has proved troublesome for Gale and Powell conceded that he may have to plan for the team’s early season fixtures without his talismanic figure. “He’s had two operations on it, and while his leg is feeling a lot better and we’re confident with him going into the season, you need to make sure it’s right,” he told TotalRL, reasoning that his recovery was his priority. “Luke probably won’t get a pre-season game in – in fact, it looks like it may well be after the start of the season when he’s good to go. He’s a quick recoverer, but they’re important injuries to get absolutely right,” he added.

His absence means it is highly likely that Jake Trueman will get further opportunities to establish himself in the first-choice seventeen although he will have stern competition from both Jamie Ellis and Ben Roberts. The Tigers open their campaign on Friday 1st February at home against Catalans Dragons.

Castleford Tigers Super League

Trueman extend Tigers deal

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Castleford Tigers’ youngster Jake Trueman has signed a new four-year deal with the Wheldon Road club and, when it was announced yesterday, the 19-year-old beamed that he couldn’t have been happier. “I now have my future for the next four years all sorted so I can now just focus on my rugby. When the offer got put in front of me I just could not turn down the chance to extend my stay even longer here at Castleford,” he told the club’s official website.

Indeed, 2018 proved to be the breakthrough year for the Bradford born prospect and made twenty-eight appearances for the Tigers this season, featuring both in the halves and at full-back, as he took advantage of injuries to more experienced first-teamers to stake his claim for a first team jersey. Such was the impact Trueman had, he was named Super League’s Young Player of the Year in 2018, an award he beat the likes of St Helens’ Danny Richardson – the league’s top points scorer and first choice half-back for the League Leaders’ Shield winners.

After benefiting from the injury misfortune of the likes of Luke Gale and Ben Roberts to establish himself in Castleford’s first team squad, Trueman told the club website that he was aware he still has to work hard to stay in the fold. “I got my opportunity this year because of a couple of injuries but my focus now is getting back into the team in 2019, we have some talented half backs in the team so competition for places is high,” he explained.

After joining the Tigers from Bradford before the start of the 2017 campaign, Trueman’s development has been remarkable and his head coach Daryl Powell was delighted that he has committed his future to Cas. “Jake had an unbelievable first full season for us last year, he showed a maturity well beyond his years and his skill set continues to grow. I’m confident he will continue to be a player who develops because of his work ethic and who performs right at the top of his game over a number of years,” he imparted. “I am delighted he’s decided to stay for the next four years with the Castleford Tigers I think it shows we can keep our talented players as we look for a massive season in 2019,” Powell added.