LOAN SIGNING Ryan Hampshire says he has a “point to prove” at Castleford Tigers this year.
Hampshire made his Super League debut for Wigan Warriors in 2013 and has played 25 times in the elite competition, scoring eight tries and 24 goals.
Despite 15 first team appearances for Wigan last season, he has been sent to Castleford on a year-long deal to gain more senior game time and is determined to prove he is worth a place every week.
“This is another exciting part of my career,” Hampshire stated. I want to get some first team experience and that’s what I really need.
“I am coming here with a point to prove and that’s what I’ll be aiming to do.”
Hampshire can play at full-back, but is determined to establish himself in the halves.
He added: “I enjoy playing full-back and I have had a lot of first-team games there.
“That has been great, but I feel that if I am going to be the best player I can be, that’ll be in the halves.
“We have got Luke Gale, who has just got into the England squad and Ben Roberts as well, so there’s going to be competition.
“Hopefully we can bring the best out of each other.”
But he stressed: “I just want to play.
“I started pre-season a few weeks after most of the boys, but I’ve settled in really well.
“They are a really good bunch of people here. I am looking forward to the year.
“This club has had some massive achievements over the last couple of years.
“They’ve just missed out in the last moments and I want to try and help them get that one step further.”
Tigers were Challenge Cup runners-up and reached the Super League play-offs two years ago and Hampshire reckons they are capable of winning trophies.
He said: “Why not? There’s no reason why we can’t win something and that’s going to be our attitude. We’ve got a lot of people who have won things and I’ve been in the Wigan squad when they’ve won stuff.
“It is such a great feeling and I want that again here.”
Hampshire said he has been impressed by the set-up at Castleford.
“It’s good,” he said.
“They have got a new gym and we’ve been doing some hard work in there as well as on the training field.
“I’ve been impressed with the players they’ve signed. They’ve brought in Joel Monaghan, Jy Hitchcox, Greg Minikin and Ben Crooks and that’s a lot more quality added into the squad, on top of those remaining from last year.”
Hampshire is originally from Normanton, attended Freeston Academy and supported Wakefield Trinity Wildcats as a youngster.
Explaining how he came to sign for Wigan, he said: “I was playing for my school in London and there were professional scouts there.
“I ended up going into the under-16s at Wigan, then I signed and I went into the first team from there.”