Castleford Tigers’ dismay at World Club Challenge snub

Castleford's head coach Daryl Powell speaks to his side after the Grand Final loss (Picture: SWPix.com)
Castleford's head coach Daryl Powell speaks to his side after the Grand Final loss (Picture: SWPix.com)
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Next year’s World Club Challenge will be a one-off game, leaving Castleford Tigers “disappointed” at missing out on a chance to face Australian opposition.

Super League champions Leeds Rhinos will travel Down Under to take on NRL Grand Final winners Melbourne Storm on February 16.

You set targets at the start of the year only to find out late in the day it won’t be happening.

Castleford Tigers’ Steve Gill

But the World Club Series involving other leading clubs from both competitions will not take place, Tigers chief executive Steve Gill has confirmed.

As league leaders Tigers were set to be Super League’s second representatives and had been keen to stage a game against a top Aussie side at the Jungle.

“It’s disappointing and I understand all the frustrations from our fans and players alike,” Gill said.

“You set targets at the start of the year only to find out late in the day it won’t be happening.

“We had heard that both the Melbourne Storm and [NRL Grand Final runners-up] Queensland Cowboys didn’t wish to travel and compete, which is a shame and hopefully not a reflection on how they view our game in the UK.

“It is what it is and we shall use it as motivation to go that one step further in 2018.”

Tigers, meanwhile, have announced a dual-registration partnership with League One club Newcastle Thunder.

The deal could see Tigers players join Newcastle to gain match fitness and game time. Tigers already have a similar deal in place with Halifax, of the Championship.

Castleford used Thunder’s Kingston Park base for a training camp in August and Tigers coach Daryl Powell said: “I’m delighted we have developed this relationship with Newcastle.

“We spent time at their facility last season and it is outstanding. Their coaching team are quality and focused on developing players which will be great for our young players, playing for them.

“League One is a tough competition which will give our players a great platform to perform in and obviously we believe our players will benefit Newcastle’s drive for excellence in the 2018 season.”

Thunder team boss Jason Payne added: “I’m really delighted Cas and Thunder have become dual-registration partners and I’m looking forward to building the relationship over this year and hopefully in the longer term too.”

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