Castleford have announced the signing of Bradford half-back Luke Gale on a two-year deal from next season.
Gale, 26, will help plug the gap created by the imminent departure of Marc Sneyd to Hull and the news will also soften the blow of losing highly-rated hooker Daryl Clark, whose move to Warrington for a £185,000 fee was confirmed on Wednesday evening.
Gale, an England Knights player, is Castleford coach Daryl Powell’s second half-back recruit for 2015 following the capture of Samoan international Ben Roberts from Melbourne Storm and his sixth confirmed signing so far as he rebuilds his squad.
Powell said: “I am delighted we have been able to secure the services of a quality half-back who not long ago was just on the edge of international recognition. Luke’s organisational ability, alongside his willingness to both play at the defensive line and indeed through it, will fit neatly into how we want to play next season.
“His passing and kicking game are top quality. Luke, alongside Ben Roberts and Liam Finn, give us variety and quality at half-back with Ben Reynolds proving he can also step up when needed, giving us additional depth in such a pivotal position.”
Gale, who began his career in the Leeds academy before making his name initially at London Broncos, is hoping the move from the relegated Bulls can help him realise his ambition of playing for England.
“I am jumping at the opportunity and I cannot wait,” said Gale, who turned down a move to Hull earlier this year. “I have worked with Daryl at the England Knights and at Leeds before. I like how he goes about things, and even though there was other interest, once I spoke to Daryl that was it – I wanted to join Castleford.
“I felt he can take me and the club to that next level and I want to be playing in those big games.”