Covid-hit Castleford Tigers give trial to New Zealander Caleb Stanley: Three-quarter is nephew of new signing from Hull FC Bureta Faraimo

Castleford Tigers are giving a trial to teenage New Zealander Caleb Stanley, a nephew of their off-season signing Bureta Faraimo.

By Peter Smith
Friday, 24th December 2021, 7:04 am
New Zealander Caleb Stanley has joined Castleford Tigers on pre-season trial. Picture by Melanie Allatt Photography/Castleford Tigers.
New Zealander Caleb Stanley has joined Castleford Tigers on pre-season trial. Picture by Melanie Allatt Photography/Castleford Tigers.

The 18-year-old centre/wing is already in training with Tigers and could get an opportunity to play in pre-season matches or for their reserve side.

Stanley played league in New Zealand before switching to rugby union.

“B [Faraimo] is my uncle,” Stanley revealed.

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“It has kind of just happened after talking with the coaches - they were interested to see what I was like and I’m here now.

“It’s good experience, I started in league, five to 10 growing up and had to switch with league not as dominant where I had to move to.

“I went through union from 10 to 18 and now I’m back to have another go at league.”

Playing in similar positions to his uncle is “a good help, definitely”, Stanley admitted.

He said: “I think from his background in the NRL and his time here, it’s good to have him teach me in this position of centre/wing.

“He’s teaching me the basics really, everything I need to get through a game and then other stuff like the technical wrestling.

“Everyone has their bits and pieces - it’s more me absorbing what they’re saying because everyone’s been so supportive.

“I know I’ve been pushed by everyone with heaps of advice and I’m starting to feel confident.

“I think it’s about me being a sponge, just absorbing everything.

“I can take everything that I learn, retain it and be a better player overall.

He added: “I’ve been run into the ground a couple of times.

“I am not used to it back home, but over here it’s been really tough.

“Lee [Radford, Tigers’ coach] has been so supportive.

“Coming from a union background he is pretty understanding on me learning this game, but also bringing what I have from union.”

Radford said: “Caleb has a real good pedigree from a rugby union perspective and came to England with his dad who is in the military.

“Hopefully we can find a pathway for him here.

“It’s brilliant that he has Bureta, it helps massively - we’re calling him ‘Mini B’ already.

“For an 18-year-old kid, he is a very big human being and I’ve been really impressed with the stuff he’s done so far.

“He has fitted in really well. “

Of his plans for Stanley, Radford said: “Hopefully he will get a run out in the pre-season friendlies [and] he could get a run out in the reserves.

“That’s why I am such an advocate for the reserve grade, it’s another avenue that we are opening for late developers from different sports.

“When the pool is getting smaller and everyone is fighting harder to recruit, the reserves could open that opportunity up for people.”

Tigers, who do not have a warm-up game over the festive period, brought forward their Christmas break and have suspended rugby activity until the new year following a number of positive Covid tests.

All first team players and staff have taken a PCR test and those who provided a positive result are isolating.