Castleford Tigers v Wigan Warriors: How Ryan Hampshire bounced back from rocky spell after leaving Wakefield Trinity

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
It has been a rocky few months, but Ryan Hampshire says he is delighted to be back doing his thing for Castleford Tigers.

Hampshire was left without a club when his Wakefield Trinity contract expired at the end of last season.

The full-back/half-back signed for Tigers in March, six years after a previous spell there, but suffered a broken hand just two days later playing for the reserves and had to wait until last month’s home game against Hull KR for his second debut.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He also featured in the defeat at Salford Red Devils two weeks ago and admitted: “I played better than I thought I would in the first two games.”

Ryan Hampshire offloads during his Tigers debut against Hull KR last month. Picture by Will Palmer/ Hampshire offloads during his Tigers debut against Hull KR last month. Picture by Will Palmer/
Ryan Hampshire offloads during his Tigers debut against Hull KR last month. Picture by Will Palmer/

Hampshire, known as Rocky, is set to continue in the side when Challenge Cup winners Wigan visit the Jungle on Saturday and said: “I slotted straight back into it and looking back, I think breaking my hand in that reserves’ game could have been, in a weird way, a good thing.

“It gave me an extra six weeks of training and I feel fine, [but] I think there’s about 30 or 40 per cent left in me.

"I think I need to be a bit busier, maybe a few more carries, pushing through the middle a lot more, but I think that’s just with not playing for eight months.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Hampshire is contracted to Tigers until the end of this season.

“I think it’s up to me to play well and see if Cas want to keep me - just perform and see what happens from there,” he said of his future beyond that.

“I am really enjoying being here, it’s a good set of lads and good coaches.

“I was at Wakey for four years, so it is something different and I am really liking it here.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A Tigers win over Wigan would set them up for a good second half of the season, after an inconsistent first 13 games, Hampshire reckons.

“We’ve had a few meetings,” he said.

“We know what we need to do in the second half and I think this will be the perfect opportunity to get that going.”

Tigers are without Jake Mamo, who has returned to Australia on compassionate grounds, from the team on duty at Salford.

Bureta Faraimo is back in the squad after a knee injury, Liam Watts is available following suspension and Danny Richardson, Greg Eden and Brad Martin could also return.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cade Cust drops out of Wigan’s squad after dislocating an elbow in last Saturday’s Cup final win over Huddersfield Giants.

Morgan Smithies begins a four-game ban and Thomas Leuluai is rested, but Sam Powell has completed a six-game suspension and Willie Isa, Oliver Partington, Joe Shorrocks, Abbas Miski, Sam Halsall and Matty Nicholson are also in contention.

Castleford Tigers: from Olpherts, Faraimo, Trueman, Richardson, Watts, McShane, Lawler, Edwards, Milner, Westerman, Massey, Griffin, Fonua, Smith, Eden, Blair, Matagi, Hampshire, Martin, O’Brien, Qareqare.

Wigan Warriors: from French, Bibby, Thornley, Marshall, Singleton, Powell, Mago, Isa, Farrell, Bateman, Ellis, H Smith, Partington, Havard, Byrne, Shorrocks, Field, Miski, Halsall, O’Neill, Nicholson.

Referee: James Child (Dewsbury).

Kick-off: Saturday, 2pm.