Flush Castleford Tigers invest in an Isa

Castleford Tigers have made their seventh closed-season signing with the recruitment of Samoan Test international centre or winger Willie Isa.

A National Rugby League debutant with Penrith Panthers in 2009, Isa, joins the Tigers from former champions Melbourne Storm with whom he made five first team appearances and scored four tries.

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A member of the 2010 Samoan international squad, the 21-year-old made his Test debut against New Zealand in October and has earned a reputation Down Under for his outstanding speed and strength.

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Isa, signed as a replacement for recently retired centre James Evans, is expected to arrive in the country in early January and is champing at the bit to get going.

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The Auckland-born ace is also promising Cas fans he will do his utmost to make their admission fee worth every penny.

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"My coach at Melbourne Storm, Craig Bellamy, speaks highly of Terry (Matterson) and I've heard a lot of good things, so I'm pretty excited

about working with him at Castleford," said Isa.

"I can guarantee that I will do my best for the players and fans at the club.

"The fans play a lot of money to come to games and I will be out there doing my best for them every game.

"I'm not going there to take it easy, I've signed a one- year deal and it's a chance to impress. More importantly I want to play well for Castleford and do all I can to achieve success there.

"I've been doing pre season with Melbourne and I'll keep that up until I leave for Castleford.

"I'm fit and ready to go and I can't wait to get started!"

Isa becomes Castleford's seventh signing of the closed season, joining Richard Mathers (Warrington), Danny Orr (Harlequins), Nick Youngquest (Crusaders), Nick Fozzard, Jacob Emmitt (St Helens) and Martin Aspinwall (Huddersfield).

Isa added: "I know of some of the lads at Castleford. I hear Rangi Chase is pretty big over there and Dean Widders has done a lot in the NRL.

"I see Nick Youngquest is a new recruit for the club. I played with him when he was at Penrith and I was a junior there.

"I'm pretty excited about linking up with these guys and meeting up with the rest of the lads there."

Delighted by his signing, head coach Matterson added: "I'm excited to have enticed Willie to the Tigers.

"With the sudden retirement of James Evans it was important that we strengthened in the centre positions and we feel with Willie's acquisition we have more than covered that area.

"He is a very strong and elusive centre who will bring some genuine speed to our backline."

Thomas Christiansen

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