Alex Sutcliffe: Castleford Tigers confirm signing of Rhinos centre/second-rower on two-year deal

Castleford Tigers have confirmed the signing of Leeds Rhinos centre/second-rower Alex Sutcliffe.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 5:00 pm
Alex Sutcliffe in action for Leeds against his home city club Wakefield. Picture by Steve Riding.

Castleford Tigers have confirmed the signing of Leeds Rhinos centre/second-rower Alex Sutcliffe.

Sutcliffe, who was born in Wakefield and played junior rugby for Oulton Raiders, has signed a two-year contract, with an option to double that.

The 22-year-old was a Challenge Cup final winner with Rhinos last year, when he was also named Yorkshire Evening Post Shooting Star.

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Alex Sutcliffe, right, celebrates Rhinos' 2020 Cup final win with Mikolaj Oledzki and Liam Sutcliffe. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

A Leeds academy product, he has scored two tries in 17 appearances for Rhinos, featuring six times this year.

After almost five months on the sidelines with a knee injury, he made his comeback in Rhinos’ defeat at St Helens two weeks ago and was 18th man against Hull KR last weekend.

“I am really looking forward to it and I’m itching to get going,” Sutcliffe said of his move to Tigers.

“I can’t wait to get in and meet all the lads and have a big 2022.

Alex Sutcliffe. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

“I have always admired how Castleford play and I love the fans there.

“I love how vocal they are, especially down at Cas with the fans being so close to the pitch because it is like having an extra man on the field.

“The fans are such a big part of it, for me.

“I have been the 18th man a few times and it is an intimidating place to go. It makes a massive difference with how loud they are.”

Lee Radford will take over as Tigers coach in pre-season and Sutcliffe is relishing working with the former Hull and Bradford Bulls player.

“I can’t wait for him to take me under his wing and make me a physically tough player,” Sutcliffe said.

“Personally, I prefer the second-row position because you are more involved and more in the nitty gritty stuff.

“I don’t mind a bit of physicality, I pride my game on it, especially in my defence, but I don’t mind playing either centre or back-row.”

Of Rhinos, he added: “I have been with Leeds for eight years and have been privileged enough to win a Challenge Cup, so it has been class

“I owe a lot to them, and I have enjoyed my time.

“This season Cas have played a number of young players and there is some really exciting talent coming through.

“I know Sam Hall and Brad Martin, who are young lads coming through and they look really good.

“It should be a good next few years for us.”

Radford also believes Sutcliffe’s future is in the pack.

“I’m surprised we had the opportunity to pick Alex up,” he admitted.

“He is a fantastic young player that can flip between second-row and centre, but I would love for him to nail down a second-row spot.

“I think he has all the physical attributes and the skillset to be able to play there.

“If you go at him, he’ll whack you because he has got a shot on him as well.

“I am over the moon to have secured his services because there is a long-term future for him at Castleford Tigers.”

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