Long-term injury blow rules out former Castleford Tigers star James Clare

Former Castleford favourite, James Clare. Picture: Allan McKenzie/YP.
Former Castleford favourite, James Clare. Picture: Allan McKenzie/YP.
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FORMER Castleford Tigers winger James Clare is facing a long lay-off after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in Leigh Centurions’ pre-season win over Dewsbury Rams last month.

Leigh, who begin their Betfred Super League campaign at Castleford on Friday and play host to Leeds Rhinos a week later, have signed Hull’s Dewsbury-born outside-back Curtis Naughton on a season-long loan to fill the gap left by Clare’s injury, which will require major surgery.

Leigh coach Neil Jukes said: “Unfortunately James has had his scan result back which shows he has an acl injury.

“As the scan is worse than we expected this will rule him out for most, if not all, of the season. This is in addition to losing Gregg McNally for between 10 to 12 weeks after his injury in the Wigan game.

“It was vitally important we acted upon the situation, given that we were already a bit light in the outside-backs area.”

Jukes added: “Bringing in Curtis gives him an opportunity to catapult his career at the top level.

“He has exploded on the scene in the last two seasons and now is a good time for Curtis to challenge for a regular Super League spot.”

Featherstone Rovers’ Frankie Mariano has been given a one-match ban after submitting an early guilty plea to Grade B dangerous contact in the pre-season friendly against Leeds Rhinos last month.