Castleford Tigers taking Jordan Rankin’s game ‘to a new level’

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HE WAS plucked from the team now struggling at the bottom of the table to join the one setting the pace at the top – so it’s no surprise Jordan Rankin has no regrets over joining Castleford Tigers.

Tigers will aim to make it five wins from five in Betfred Super League when they visit Warrington Wolves tonight and Rankin admits his move from Huddersfield Giants – in exchange for Joe Wardle – could not have gone better.

“There’s no complaints from me, it has been a really good start,” said the Australian scrum-half who was brought in after Luke Gale and Jamie Ellis suffered long-term injuries during pre-season.

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“It has been a big six weeks for me since I signed for Cas, just trying to get to know the plays and the coaching staff and the players and I think slowly it’s becoming better every week.

Jordan Rankin.Jordan Rankin.
Jordan Rankin.

“Obviously I am still building, but it has been a lot easier with the start we’ve had to the year and I am slowly implementing different things the coaching staff have given me and bringing them out in my game. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks we can see more of it and more wins.”

Having played across the backline for Hull and Huddersfield, Rankin has settled at half-back with Tigers. He confirmed: “That has been really good, I have been mixed in the halves and at full-back pretty much the whole of my career and never really settled on one position.

“I have come here and Ryan Sheridan [Cas’ assistant-coach] has been really good with helping me implement some things in my game as a half, things I need to work on and things I can keep doing really well. The coaching staff in general have taken my game to a new level.

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“It has been really good, they haven’t flooded my head with information overload, it has been a drip-feeding process for me and they have pretty much backed me to go out there with my ability in general and help the team win games.”

Castleford Tigers' Daryl Powell and Ryan Sheridan.Castleford Tigers' Daryl Powell and Ryan Sheridan.
Castleford Tigers' Daryl Powell and Ryan Sheridan.

Rankin added: “When the grounds get a bit firmer and the weather gets a bit sunnier, I think that’s when they’ll see the best of me but, at the moment, I am happy with the way everything’s going, leading the team around and helping them get wins.”

Warrington are third in the table after their first loss of the season at Catalans last Saturday. They are formidable at home and Rankin warned: “They have shown over the last few years what a quality side they are. They’ve picked up where they left off from last year and got some good recruits in Blake Austin and Lama Tasi and guys like that. They had a bit of a blip against Catalans, but that’s always a tough place to go.

“We will have to do our job. We’ve had a pretty short turnaround, like they have, but we know we’ve got a good enough side to go there, win and keep our winning record intact.”

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Adam Milner and Alex Foster are set to return for Tigers following injury and Cory Aston is in contention for his debut, but Grant Millington is suspended. Warrington could be unchanged.

Adam Milner is injured against London Broncos last month.Adam Milner is injured against London Broncos last month.
Adam Milner is injured against London Broncos last month.

Castleford Tigers: from Aston, Clare, Clarkson, Cook, Eden, Egodo, Foster, Massey, Mata’utia, McShane, Milner, Minikin, Moors, O’Neill, Rankin, Sene-Lefao, Shenton, Trueman, Watts.

Warrington Wolves: from Atkins, Austin, Charnley, D Clark, J Clark, Cooper, Goodwin, Hill, Hughes, King, Lineham, Mamo, Murdoch-Masila, Patton, Philbin, Ratchford, Tasi, Walker, Westwood.

Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield).

Kick-off: Tonight, 7.45pm.