Paul McShane: Huge boost for Castleford Tigers as Man of Steel signs contract extension
Man of Steel Paul McShane has handed Castleford Tigers a major boost by committing himself to the club until the end of 2025.
McShane was already under contract for 2022, but has now signed an improved deal for next season, plus a three-year extension.
The 31-year-old England hooker began his career at Leeds Rhinos and had a spell with Wakefield Trinity before joining Tigers in 2015.
He was ever-present in 2017, when Tigers won the Betfred Super League leaders’ shield and reached the Grand Final and was hailed as the competition’s most valuable player last year.
McShane, who made his England debut against Combined Nations All Stars last Friday, said: “I’m over the moon to be staying for the next four years.
“I have to give credit to Cas for improving next year’s deal for me as well, which is something they didn’t have to do and something I’m grateful for.
“I want to keep getting better at everything I do and hopefully the next four years see me keep improving and getting better.
“I feel great, I feel as though the older I get, the smarter I’m getting both playing-wise and body-wise in looking after myself.”
McShane was considering retiring from full-time rugby league before his move to Tigers and insisted the club has "made me the player I am now".
“My kids only know me playing for Cas which is a big factor as well," he added.
"I’ve probably turned from a boy to a man here.”
There had been speculation McShane might look for a move following coach Daryl Powell’s decision to join Warrington Wolves next year.
The player credited Powell with reviving his career.
He said: "He has been that driving force in me getting better, every year he is wanting me to keep improving and keep pushing.
“As a man, I’ve got so much respect for him, the time and effort he has put into me.
“Sometimes I needed a cuddle, sometimes I needed a rocket up me, he knew the right times to do those things.”
Sending Powell out on a high is one of McShane’s motivations for the rest of this year and he is also relishing working with incoming coach Lee Radford.
“There is plenty of motivation to give the fellas who are moving on the send off I think they deserve,” he stated.
“With a change, you can take it two ways - you can think; ‘oh here we go, what is going to happen?’ but for me, it excites me.
“Don’t get me wrong, the people who are leaving have played their part in my development; it is a bit scary, but it’s exciting as well and I can’t wait to get stuck in and hopefully Radders [Radford] and his coaching staff will give me a different style of play and they will give me new things to add to my game which is something I’m looking forward to building.”
Powell welcomed McShane’s decision to extend his Tigers deal.
He said: “Paul has been such a pivotal figure ever since he came to the club, but he has grown in every aspect of his performance levels and his professionalism is a real driver for the team.
“He is a class fella and I am delighted he has agreed to stay at Castleford.
“The club means so much to him and he means so much to the team.”
Radford is a former teammate of McShane from the hooker’s spell on loan at Hull.
“To have Paul long-term is a credit to the club, really and a credit to him,” he said.
“He is arguably one of the most influential players in any team in the competition, he seems to be getting better with age.
“I was fortunate enough to get to play with him at Hull when he came on loan from Leeds, formed a good relationship with him there and hopefully we can continue that in a coach and playing capacity.
“I think he is the most influential number nine in the comp’, how he steers the team around and how he takes the pressure off the pivots and his leadership qualities are there to see.”
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