Castleford Tigers ace Jake Trueman ruled out for rest of season as move to Hull FC is confirmed
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The club have revealed Trueman suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury during last Friday's win over Huddersfield Giants.
And that announcement coincides with the news Trueman will be leaving Tigers when his contract expires this autumn, to join Betfred Super League rivals Hull on a three-year deal.
Trueman joined Tigers, aged 17, from Bradford Bulls in January 2017 and made his debut in June that year.
Now 23, he has scored 32 tries in 103 appearances for Tigers and was Super League young player of the year in 2018.
He was hampered by a back injury during 2020 and 2021, but is ever-present this season and was a try scorer last Friday before his injury.
Of the injury, Trueman said: “I’m gutted.
"I’ve been looking forward to the rest of the year knowing it was my last year with Cas, looking forward to playing with the boys and hopefully getting in the play-offs and having a good crack at trying to win something.
"I think I’ve been getting back to real full fitness the past three or four weeks from my back injury, feeling like I’m getting full speed and full strength back, then this happens.”
Trueman added: “I love Cas, I’ve loved my time here and I owe a lot to Cas.
"I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be in the position I am now playing regular Super League games if it wasn’t for Cas.
“It has been the right fit for me with the atmosphere around the place, all the boys are great, and all the coaches too. It has seemed to fit right and get the best out of me.”
Tigers have already lost captain Paul McShane for Saturday's Magic Weekend derby against Leeds Rhinos, through suspension.
McShane hailed Trueman as "such a great kid and a good person to be around".
He said: "To finish as it has, it’s not a nice ending.
"From his first day coming into the club as a young and quiet kid, you could tell he was special and we wish him all the best for the future.”
Coach Lee Radford added; "I’m obviously gutted for Jake. Since coming in he has been really good to be around, so I am devastated for him. Coming off months out with his back and now with his ACL, it’s a challenging time for him but hopefully he can come out the other end of it and get back playing some good rugby.”
Full-back/stand-off Ryan Hampshire was last week also ruled out for the rest of 2022 because on acl damage.
Radford stressed: "To have two spine players out is difficult, but some blokes are going to step up and not let it derail our season.”
Castleford have been linked with Wakefield Trinity stand-off Jacob Miller as a replacement for Trueman.
“We were made aware Jake was not going to stay on at the club, so we have been proactive in terms of recruitment," Radford insisted.
Of his move to Hull, Trueman said: "There were a few clubs that showed interest in me, but after meeting with [coach] Brett Hodgson and [chief executive] James Clark, I was really keen to come to Hull because of plans both on and off the field.
"I like the way Brett said he wants his team to play. I'm excited about playing behind a big pack like Hull's.
"It's exciting that the news is finally out there. It certainly makes it feel more real.
"I've been watching Hull closely this year, doing my homework ahead of next season. I'm just excited to get started now.”
Hodgson hailed Trueman as "one of the best young halves in the competition at the moment".
"We're thrilled to be bringing him in for 2023," he said.
"He has been exceptional so far in 2022 and we're hoping we can help Jake continue his growth here at Hull.
"Of course, it's unfortunate with Jake's knee injury, but he's in good hands with the medical staff around him and everyone here at Hull will be working hard on his rehabilitation programme to make sure he's ready and raring to go for us at the start of the 2023 season."