HOT-SHOT England youth internationals Jake Dehal-Clark and Connor Taylor have signed professional terms with Castleford Tigers after a spell on the club’s scholarship scheme.
And head of youth development Steve Gill reckons the two 16-year-olds have a Super League future.
“We are very pleased that Jake and Connor have decided to stay loyal to the club,” said Gill, pictured with Taylor (left) and Clark. “They were both highly sought after by a number of other clubs.
“They see the pathway to the first team here and recognise the achievements of others at this club who were at a similar stage of development not so long ago.” Gill added: “Jake is an all- action hooker who guides the team around the field and who is also very strong on communication.
“We signed him from the Shaw Cross junior club three years ago and he had a good grounding in the game at Hunslet Parkside before then. He has come a long way in the scholarship and we see fantastic potential in him.
“He has had a lot of guidance from Ryan Hudson and is good friends with Adam Milner and Daryl Clark. He’s well aware of who is in front of him and that hasn’t deterred him – his aim is to play in the first team.”
Of Taylor, Gill said: “Quality centres are always in short supply and having coached Michael Shenton at a young age, I see strong similarities with Connor at that age.
“He’s from my old junior club, Normanton, and is a strike player. I know Richard Tunningley (player performance manager and under 18s coach) is especially looking forward to working with him.
“To keep these players, both England internationals, is testament to where we are at and the exciting future in store for this club.”
● WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats have signed nine players to boost the club’s under-18 academy ranks.
Centre/back-rower Brad Day and centre Cameron Leeming have joined Wildcats from Leeds Rhinos, loose-forward Jack Anderson has moved from Hull and Luke Metcalfe, a back-rower, was previously at Featherstone.
The four have penned deals keeping them at Wakefield until November, 2013.
Corbyn Kilday, Jack Gledhill, Tom Middleton, Daniel Mirfin and Flannan Naismith have all signed for Wildcats from the club’s scholarship scheme.
●TWENTY-year-old loose forward Chris Annakin has signed a new two-year deal at the club.