Castleford Tigers chief: Rangi is staying put

Castleford Tigers chief executive Richard Wright has crushed rumours linking star player Rangi Chase with a move away from the PROBIZ Coliseum.

Chase is the latest high profile half-back to be linked with a move, following similar rumours that suggested both Richard Myler at Warrington and Jarrod Sammut at Crusaders were about to join Hull.

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But Wright said: "There has been no offers or communications from Hull FC, or any other club, regarding the services of Rangi.

"I spoke to Rangi at length last night. He's very happy and excited by the half-back partnership he now has with Danny Orr.

"We feel that the current squad is the strongest to have begun a season with us for many years and Rangi is a central part of Terry's (Terry

Matterson) plans going forward.

"I am not sure where these rumours come from but we are all focused on the start of the season and we will not be distracted."

Rangi signed a three-year contract extension with the Tigers in 2009, keeping him tied to the club until at least the end of the 2013 season.

Meanwhile, Tigers head coach Matterson has announced the 2011 squad numbers for the forthcoming campaign.

New signing Willie Isa, signed as a centre in place of the retired James Evans, has been handed the number 17 jersey.

Richard Owen moves to the number five jersey for the new season to make way for marquee signing Richard Mathers to take the number one shirt.

Three academy products have been awarded a first-17 shirt this season – centre Joe Arundel (4), prop forward Jonathan Walker (15) and hooker Adam Milner (16).

Matterson said: "All the players in the 25 have played first grade and that's something we've never really had before.

"That's a real positive going into the season.

"We feel we're in really good shape to improve on what we have done over the past couple of seasons. We know that others clubs have also improved, but it's really important that we get better. I feel that we have improved considerably.

"We've made so many good signings this year and I think it states our intention that we're looking to go up the table."

On the battle for the full-back starting berth, Matterson added: "I've made no secret of the fact that Richie Mathers is going to be my first choice full-back.

"Part of that is down to Richie Owen not being available for the start of the season.

"The important thing for him is to get as close as possible to where he was before and we're certainly not going to be putting undue pressure on him to do that."

Tigers 2011 squad numbers: 1, Mathers 2, Dixon; 3, Youngquest; 4, Arundel; 5, Owen; 6, Chase; 7, Orr; 8, Jackson; 9, Hudson; 10, Huby; 11, Emmitt; 12, Snitch; 13, Ferres; 14, Jones; 15, Walker; 16, Milner; 17, Isa; 19, Fozzard; 20, Aspinwall; 21, Massey; 22, Thompson; 23, McGoldrick; 24, Holmes; 25, Widders; 26, Davies.

Thomas Christiansen.

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