Hepi days continue for Castleford Tigers as forward Tyla stays on for 2021 Super League season
Castleford Tigers have triggered the second year of Tyla Hepi’s contract, keeping the forward at the club for the 2021 season.
Hepi, 27, joined Tigers from Toulouse in the off-season and has been a regular in the first team since the Betfred Super League restart in August.
The prop was born in New Zealand, but is federation-trained and does not count on the club’s overseas quota.
He initially agreed a one-year deal with Cas with a further one-year option which the club has taken up
“It has been a rollercoaster of a season on and off-field, obviously with the influence of Covid,” Hepi - who has made eight appearances for Tigers - said.
“But I am currently enjoying [my] footy and I'll keep my feet on the ground and keep working hard and getting better every day for the team."
Hepi's father Brad played 30 times for Tigers during two spells in 1999 and 2001 and was a team mate of Castleford coach Daryl Powell at New Zealand club Glenora 34 years ago.
Tyla has also featured for Hull KR, Wyong Roos in Australia, Auckland’s Point Chevalier Pirates and Whitehaven.
“I have some goals I’d like to achieve and ultimately that will ensure I’m a better player for 2021,” he added.
“My goals next season are to be a big asset to the team and club and ultimately be happy, to keep working hard and earn some silverware with this great historical club and give this town what we deserve.”
Powell said Hepi's extended stay is "great news" for the club.
“He, alongside Jacques O’Neill, has been a real positive sign during this tough period we have been going through," he said.
“His energy and enthusiasm for the game is outstanding and I look forward to seeing him improve as he thrives in Super League.”
Tigers director of rugby Jon Wells added: ““Tyla has really taken his opportunity this season.
“He plays the game in a really confrontational way which can be a real asset for this team and another year hopefully sees another step up in his game where he becomes a regular member of our matchday 17.”
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