Castleford Tigers: Orr's delight at his return INTERVIEW

Castleford Tigers' hometown hero reckons it is Orr-some to be back.

With less than a month to go until the start of the new engage Super League season, former skipper Danny Orr is counting down the days until he gets chance to pull on a Tigers jersey in anger again.

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Orr came through Tigers' junior ranks before making his debut in the second season of summer rugby, in 1997.

He went on to make 150 Super League starts and 18 substitute appearances for Cas – scoring 65 tries, 279 goals and three drop goals – before joining Wigan Warriors in 2004.

Last Sunday's opening pre-season fixture, against York City Knights, was his first game for Tigers in seven years and – despite a crowd of less than 2,000 – he admitted it was an emotional experience.

Now he is looking to build on that initial hit-out as Tigers aim to hit the ground running against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in Cardiff on February 12.

"It's good to be back," said the 32-year-old, who spent the last four seasons with Harlequins.

"I only played half a game the other day, but it was nice to pull a shirt on again and have a run out with the lads. To get a bit of game time under my belt was nice.

"I've been here since the back end of last year and it's good to be back in the area with all my close friends and family and to be near the club.

"Last Sunday was only a friendly game, but I'm really looking forward to the first Super League game, when it really means something and we are going all guns blazing."

Orr played at hooker in spells during his stint at Harlequins, but Tigers coach Terry Matterson plans to use him in his specialist half-back role this year.

Finding a settled combination has been a problem for Cas since Brent Sherwin left the club mid-way through last season, but in Orr and Rangi Chase, they look to have found a solution.

The duo paired-up for the first time last weekend, ripping Co-op Championship outfit York to shreds.

Chase's individual skills and Orr's organisational ability could make them a big threat as a unit this season and Orr said the new combination is already beginning to gel.

"It is working well," he said. "It is going good. We get on really well, we train together and we are trying to build a bit of a

relationship and a partnership.

"We'll see how we go. There's a few good signs there and we just need to keep building on it."

Orr's departure in 2003 coincided with a downturn in Tigers' fortunes, which saw them relegated the following year.

They spent four seasons as a yo-yo club – twice following relegation by winning the lower division Grand Final – before becoming re-established in engage Super League in 2008.

Orr reckons – other than some of the people – not much has changed since his previous time at what is now the Probiz Coliseum.

"There's a lot of new faces, but the place is still the same and the feeling is the same for me," he said.

"It feels proud to pull the jersey on and every time you cross that white line you are ready to play.

"It feels good. It is a long time since I have been here, but it feels good to be back."

This will be a big year for Tigers, with the next round of Super League licences due to be handed out in the summer.

Failure to deliver on a new stadium – plus concerns over fans' behaviour – has left the club as one of those in peril, but Orr is convinced Tigers deserve a place in the elite competition.

"There's some good kids coming through," he said. "We witnessed that last week. We played a team from a division below us, but in the second half the team was 18, 19 and 20 year olds for 40 minutes and they did really well.

"The signs are good on the playing front. Regarding the franchise, that's nothing to do with us. We don't really get involved in that, but I think (chief executive) Richard Wright is doing a good job there.

"He is working hard and fingers crossed we will get in. I think Super League would be a weaker place without a Castleford team."

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