Castleford Tigers expect great things from new boy Danny Richardson
Star recruit Danny Richardson can go from being a good player to a great one under Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell, the club’s director of rugby Jon Wells reckons.
Tigers paid St Helens an undisclosed transfer fee for the 23-year-old half-back who will replace Leeds Rhinos signing Luke Gale in their squad for 2020.
Richardson was named in the 2018 Betfred Super League Dream Team and played for England Knights against Jamaica earlier this month, but Wells feels he is ready to go up another gear.
“Luke Gale came to us as a good player and developed into a great player - he won Man of Steel and became an England international while he was here,” Wells said.
“I think that’s the attraction for someone like Danny.
“He has been incredibly frustrated to be limited to only 12 games this year, albeit in an outstanding St Helens side.
“He sees the track record Daryl and the coaching group have got of improving players.
“He is an England Knights player now, before he joins us, so what can he become in his time here?
“That will benefit him, the English game and the Tigers so we can’t wait to get started.”
Richardson is the jewel in the crown of Tigers’ recruitment so far.
Wells added: “He’s a young kid, a cocky lad - very self-assured, which I like.
“He’s very creative, a very good goal kicker, kicks off both feet and he has come out of a great system.”
With Richardson set to partner 20-year-old Jake Trueman, Tigers have a half-back pairing which could be the club’s heartbeat for the next decade.
“I think we have got two of the best young halves in the game,” Wells insisted.
“They are young, English, international-standard half-backs. I think they will be excellent for us, particularly our outside-backs.
“The way our backline’s going to set up next year, I expect them to get a lot of service, a lot of quality ball.
“It’s not just what Danny can bring to us individually, I think what he can bring to the team from an attacking perspective will be exciting to watch.”
Tigers have also signed Tyla Hepi, George Griffin, Sosaia Feki and Derrell Olpherts, but Wells is not ruling out other additions.
He said: “There’s no major irons in the fire as it stands, but this is a squad that’s kind of ever-evolving.
“As always, you have agents in contact with you seven days a week, offering this that and the other, but we are reasonably happy with where we’re at.
“Obviously there’s always room to improve should the right person come along, but what we’ve tried to do over the last 18 months-couple of years is be very, very particular about who we bring in.
“I don’t think we are a club with the resources to be able to make recruitment mistakes.
“We have to be very careful with what we do.”