CASTLEFORD Tigers signing Paul McShane admits it is the “Daryl Effect” that attracted him to Wheldon Road.
The hooker made the surprise switch from Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on the eve of deadline day less than a fortnight ago, initially on loan until the end of the season but having already sorted a two-year deal for 2016 and 2017.
Reigning coach of the year Daryl Powell has a reputation for raising players’ performances and making the most of their ability.
Fellow hooker Scott Moore moved the other way and McShane, 25, explained: “It all happened very quick.
“We’d agreed a deal for next season on the Monday and I was due to go training (at Wakefield) on the Wednesday but got called in.
“We decided to make the move now to bring some fresh faces in and boost the squad.
“I was totally committed to Wakefield’s cause whichever situation they ended up in. But the opportunity came to work under Daryl and my manager and myself are big admirers of him.
“To see what Daryl does with the players he gets is good.”
McShane started out with hometown Leeds Rhinos, scoring 14 tries in 63 games and winning the World Club Challenge in 2012.
However, most of those appearances came off the bench and it is only with Wakefield over the last two years he has established himself as a starting No9.
“The game-time there was a lot better,” he said.
“I don’t think I’d kicked on as much as I wanted to but I thank the club for that time on the field.
“I hardly missed any games in two seasons which is good for a kid joining who’d just been getting 20 or 30 minute stints before.
“I think I’ve got more game-awareness now and hopefully can bring that to Castleford.”
Whereas his former employers begin their bid for Super League survival in the Qualifiers this weekend, McShane is set to debut against Hull FC seeking to fire Castleford into the top four.
They are two-points behind fourth-placed Huddersfield Giants as the Super 8s start and bitterly disappointed after a 44-6 home defeat to Warrington in their last regular round.
“If we’d have got that result it would have made the job a bit easier but you can’t ever write Castleford off,” said McShane.
“They’ve had some great results this year so if we can play to our capabilities we’ve every chance of being top four and challenging for a Grand Final.
“I played with Hull myself in 2010 – on loan when I was a baby – and they do tend to travel well to Cas but it will be great to be at home as Cas fans are mad for their rugby and it’ll be nice to put on a show for them after what happened against Warrington.”
McShane will challenge Castleford’s homegrown hooker Adam Milner for a starting berth and is up against Hull’s Danny Houghton on Friday.
“Danny’s one of those 80 minutes players of non-stop running, tackling, everything,” he said.
“He’s a great player and a bit unfortunate not to be in the international fold with England.
“Adam’s a very good player, too, one who does stuff people don’t really notice, a real hard grafter.
“There’s a few players I know at Cas already; I played with Luke Gale a bit in the Leeds Academy side, although he was a couple of years older than me.
“But obviously I played a lot with Ryan Bailey at Leeds and Ashley Gibson was around the Rhinos, too, when I was first coming through.
“I’m looking forward to getting going with Tigers and in front of those Cas fans as well who I know are just mad for their rugby.”
Hull, meanwhile, have continued their recruitment for 2016 by signing impressive Tonga winger Mahe Fonua from Melbourne Storm on a three-year deal.
The 22-year-old powerhouse will plug the gap caused by the departure of Tom Lineham to Warrington when he links up with the Black and Whites ahead of next season.
Fonua, who was in the Melbourne team that beat Leeds in the World Club Challenge two years ago, was unveiled as Hull FC’s latest signing after making his 50th appearance for the Storm against Wests Tigers in Sydney.