Halfback Luke Gale has signed a new five-year deal with Castleford.
Gale, who was under contract for 2017, will now remain a Tiger until the end of the 2021 season.
Gale started his rugby career with Leeds Rhinos but never broke through into the first team. He joined National League Two side Doncaster in 2007 and eventually established himself as one of the best players in that league, winning the Young Player of the Year award in 2008.
The half back attracted interest from Super League teams after his stellar 2008 season and eventually moved to Harlequins and spent three years with the club before moving back north in 2011 to join Bradford Bulls.
Gale immediately impressed at the Bulls and earned a three-year extension in 2013. Injuries and poor form saw the team relegated, and Gale was allowed to leave to join the Tigers.
During 2015, Gale quickly hit his stride with a new look Castleford team and earned rave reviews from his coaches, the media, and fans. The half back helped his side finish fifth in the Super League table and also earned the Albert Goldthorpe Medal for his performances, along with a called up to the England International team. Gale along with teammate, Michael Shenton was also selected for the Super League Dream Team of 2015.
So far in 2016, Gale has continued to impress in the Black and Amber with many people tipping him to play for England this winter. Gale has had an added responsibility this year with him stepping in to captain the team in the absence of Shenton.
Speaking today Luke Gale said: “I’m delighted to have signed my new deal with Castleford Tigers and it’s great to be able to put all the rumours to bed. I love what Daryl and Steve are building here, it’s a great club to be part of and I’m excited to see what the future holds for the club in the coming years. The fans are amazing and we’ve built a brilliant team here who are hungry for success and to bring silverware back to Castleford. I did have interest from elsewhere but I always wanted to stay here, and I’d like to see out the rest of my career here at Castleford Tigers.”
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell is delighted to secure the long term future of Gale: “Luke Gale has been outstanding since he signed at Castleford Tigers and I expect him to improve every year he is with us. I am delighted that he has signed a contract extension which will keep him at the Tigers for the next five years. I fully expect him to become the next England half back and look forward to him continuing to grow as a person and a player within our environment.”
Castleford CEO Steve Gill is thrilled to confirm the news: “I’m really pleased that Luke has committed to the Tigers until the end of the 2021 season. Luke realises what we are trying to build here at the club and definitely wants to be part of it. I would also like to put on record my thanks to our Chairman Ian Fulton, and our Board of Directors for their vision in taking the club forward, by moving quickly to make this happen, and also thanks to Craig Harrison at SMTM agency for his honesty throughout.”