CASTLEFORD TIGERS are keen to sign London Broncos’ highly-rated young English forward Mike McMeeken.
The Yorkshire Evening Post understands Cas are close to completing a deal for the 20-year-old second-row, who was born in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
McMeeken made his Broncos debut in 2012 and has been one of their shining lights this year, producing a string of impressive performances during a traumatic campaign which has seen London win just one of their 27 competitive games so far.
McMeeken, who has also played for London Skolars, has scored five tries in 20 appearances this year.
He caught the eye of Tigers coach Daryl Powell with stand-out performances during Cas’ two big wins over London this season.
He was their only try scorer when Tigers won 54-6 at The Hive in March and also touched down during London’s 64-18 drubbing at Castleford last month.
McMeeken is believed to be keen to work with Powell, who is highly-rated by Broncos coach Joe Grima.
Current Tigers players Luke Dorn and Michael Channing are former team mates of McMeeken and Cas have already signed his second-row partner Matt Cook for next season, along with London centre/winger Denny Solomona.
Tigers’ management see McMeeken as a prospect for the future. Cas are also set to announce the signing of London’s much-travelled hooker Scott Moore.
He began his Super League career at St Helens in 2004 and had a spell on loan at Castleford in 2008.
Moore, 26, has also played for Huddersfield, Widnes and North Queensland Cowboys in Australia’s NRL.
He will replace Daryl Clark, who has signed for Warrington Wolves from next year.
But Tigers chief executive Steve Gill has ruled out a move for Salford Red Devils’ transfer-listed forward Gareth Hock.
Gill said: “He’s a great player, but we are not interested in him. We have not spoken to him or to Salford.”
Meanwhile, scrum-half Liam Finn reckons Castleford need to win in the south of France this weekend, whatever happens elsewhere.
Tigers will be crowned First Utility Super League leaders if they win at Catalan Dragons on Saturday and current table-toppers St Helens lose to Huddersfield Giants the previous night.
Even if Saints win Tigers will need a victory in Perpignan to seal second place and Finn admitted: “We didn’t handle the Wakefield game too well last weekend.
“We did for 30 minutes, but then we let it slip. But hopefully we can handle it on Saturday.
“Regardless of the St Helens result we’ve still got the top-two to play for and a home tie. It is still a must-win for us either way.
“We’d love a home tie in the play-offs. The club has never had one and we love playing at the Jungle and the way the fans get behind us, so that would be a nice thing to do, even if St Helens do beat Huddersfield.
“We will prepare this week to get a result to keep us in the top-two and anything else is a bonus.”
Catalan have already qualified for the play-offs, but could need a victory to avoid finishing eighth and having to travel to Leeds Rhinos in the first round.
“I have never played at Perpignan, but I am told it is quite a hostile environment,” Finn said.
“For that reason it is probably an ideal game for us going into the play-offs, but whether travelling over there is the ideal perparation for potentially a Thursday night game the week after, we won’t know until afterwards. It will be an intense game and that’s what we’ve been looking for.
“We’ve been trying to get that intensity.
“We have been winning matches, but teams like Warrington, St Helens, Wigan and Leeds have really ramped up their intensity in the last few weeks.
“And we need to go with them if we want to compete in the play-offs.
“We need to improve, there’s no doubt about that.”