Castleford Tigers sign forward Lewis Bienek from Hull FC - and target another prop

Ireland international Lewis Bienek has joined Castleford Tigers from Hull on a one-year contract.
Lewis Bienek in training with Hull this season. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Lewis Bienek in training with Hull this season. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Lewis Bienek in training with Hull this season. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

And Tigers coach Daryl Powell has confirmed the club are in talks with an "experienced, Super League-based" prop to join Bienek in next season's squad.

Bienek, 22, spent two seasons with London Broncos before joining Hull in 2018.

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He has also played on loan for Oxford, Doncaster, Batley Bulldogs and Leigh Centurions at the start of the 2020 season, but his only appearance for Hull this year was as a substitute in a defeat by Leeds Rhinos last month.

“I’m buzzing," Bienek said of his Tigers deal, which includes an option for the 2022 season.

"When I spoke to Daryl [Powell, Tigers' coach] and got the deal over the line I was really excited.

"I just want to get going, I’m really looking forward to it."

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The London-born front-rower added: “Daryl is one of the main reasons I wanted to sign with Cas.

"He’s a great coach and he gets a lot out of players that are coming through that are younger, so it will be great to learn a lot from him and there are more experienced players there, too.”

A strong season for Tigers could earn Bienek a place in Ireland's World Cup squad next autumn.

“I think Cas give people a go and are not afraid to let people get stuck in and show what they can do," he said.

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"The World Cup is coming up so I want to put my best foot forward to get into the Ireland squad again and show what we can do there again.

"There’s a lot to look forward to and a lot of challenges to really get stuck into.”

Powell is confident the new signing can make an impact for Tigers.

He revealed: “We tried to sign Lewis before he went to Hull.

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"He has come out of London, he has loads of energy and enthusiasm and he’s a big kid with great leg speed. He’s pretty rapid.

“Lewis is a great prospect and I’m looking forward to getting him in and seeing what he can do.

"I think everybody will be excited to see him.

"You look at some of the things he has done earlier on in his career, he has some development to do, but he has got a lot of potential."

Powell added: “Front-row is an important position and I think Lewis will really add to us.

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"We’ve got a few young forwards now; obviously Matt Cook and Junior Moors are leaving us, but we’ve got Tyla Hepi and Jacques O'Neill who have done pretty well, as well as Lewis Peachey and Brad Martin who played towards the back end of this year.

“We have a real air of youth that will stand the club in good stead for years to come, which is what we’re looking for, but we’re also looking to win a competition next year as well.

“With that in mind, we still want to add another experienced prop for 2021 who can come in and make an immediate difference to our go-forward and we’re in advanced talks with a Super League-based player who we’re confident can do that for us.”

Tigers' director of rugby Jon Wells said: "We are delighted to welcome Lewis to the Tigers.

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"He is a young player who we have previously tried to acquire and who has massive potential.

“He will add size and grunt upfront for us in 2021 and will really complement our existing pack.

"He has plenty to learn but from what we know already he has exactly the right attitude to improve in our environment."