Castleford Tigers already have a player lined-up to replace Leeds Rhinos-bound England star Luke Gale
CASTLEFORD TIGERS say they have already signed a replacement for departed scrum-half Luke Gale.
The goal-kicking play-maker was yesterday unveiled as a Leeds Rhinos player after exactly 100 Super League appearances during a five-season spell with Tigers.
Castleford are not confirming the identity of their new half-back, but have been strongly linked with St Helens’ Danny Richardson.
The 23-year-old was a member of the Betfred Super League Dream Team last year, when he was ever-present.
He is set to feature for Saints in their Grand Final showdown with either Wigan Warriors or Salford Red Devils next week – which would prevent immediate confirmation of his move.
Castleford director of rugby Jon Wells confirmed: “The Tigers have signed a replacement [for Gale] who will be announced at the appropriate time and in conjunction with his current club.”
Leeds have paid a transfer fee for Gale, who was contracted to Castleford until the end of 2021.
The 31-year-old former Rhinos academy pivot gained nine England caps during his time as a Castleford player, but missed the entire 2019 campaign after suffering an Achilles injury at a pre-season training session in January.
Wells added: “Luke came to see us earlier in the year and expressed a desire to pursue other opportunities away from Castleford Tigers.
“Whilst Luke has been an integral part of our on-field progress over the last few seasons, the club’s position – as is the case with all players – is that we would not want to stand in the way of anyone who saw his future in another club’s colours.
“Luke has been a true professional on and off the field during his time with us – particularly over the last two seasons where injuries have kept him sidelined for long periods of time.
“But the club has also been good for Luke; he has become an international player in his time at the Tigers and was crowned the Man of Steel in 2017 on the back of performances that will live long in the memory of every Cas fan.
“He leaves with our best wishes.”