Castleford considering half-back search but are confident in their current options

Jacob Kilbride

Jon Wells has revealed Castleford are considering searching for a Luke Gale replacement but have trust in the current half-backs they have at their disposal.

Former Man of Steel and England international Gale suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during a training session on Saturdayand further diagnosis has confirmed the long-term nature of the injury.

Gale was restricted to just 15 appearances in 2018 and it seems likely this latest injury lay-off will see him miss the entire 2019 season.

Castleford have four other half-backs to call upon – Jake Trueman, Ben Roberts, Jamie Ellis and Cory Aston – though director of rugby Wells explained the Tigers could go into the market, should coach Daryl Powell choose to.

“If Luke was ruled out for the season, we’d seek relief from the RFL for Luke’s value on the salary cap,” Wells said when asked if the Tigers had the resources to find a replacement.

“Then we’d go into the market and try search for a replacement. As it stands though, we do have options on the table.

“As a club, we don’t have a marquee player. The idea of having a marquee player doesn’t fit within Daryl’s philosophy of having a large group of players from which to choose from.

“We had lots of key players missing last year and we’ll have to do without one again. Jamie Ellis is the next cab off the rank, we’ve got Ben Roberts as well and Cory Aston played particularly well against Featherstone as did young Jake Sweeting.

“This is one of the benefits of having a deep squad. We’re confident of going down the batting order and still having quality able to call upon.

“We’re confident that we can cope without Luke. We’re confident in the squad that we’ve currently got and we’re confident if Daryl were to decide that he wants to bring in reinforcements.

“I’m sure the rugby league world is keen to send out their best wishes for Luke. It’s a big loss for Super League, not just the Castleford Tigers.”