Castleford Tigers have signed Lebanon international Charbel Tasipale on a one-and-a-half-year deal, with the option of a further year in the club’s favour.
The 23-year-old centre or back-rower made his international debut for Lebanon at last year’s World Cup, playing in all four games for the Cedars, including their quarter-final defeat to Australia.
Tasipale links up with the Tigers from New South Wales Cup side Newtown Jets, scoring seven tries in 16 appearances so far this season.
On joining Castleford, Tasipale said: “I’m very excited about the opportunity that’s been given to me to play in Super League.
“Not many can say that they’ve played at that level so I’m very excited to move over. I found out last week about the interest and everything has moved pretty quickly.
“Obviously leaving home is a big thing but the moment I realised that this is what I’ve dreamed of, I really wanted to go.”
Castleford coach Andy Last said: “Charbel has been a standout player in the Newtown Jets team this year.
“We have looked closely and Charbel is very athletic and his line running really caught the eye.
“We feel his desire and ambition are what we want and need.
“The additions we have made we feel will create some competition for selection improving performance and ultimately help us get the results we need.”
‘World Cup was one of best moments of my career so far’ – New Castleford Tigers signing Charbel Tasipale
Tasipale was born and raised in Australia but qualifies to play for Lebanon through his family heritage, which he proudly represented during last year’s World Cup.
The 23-year-old said the impact the World Cup had on him was a big factor in wanting to make the permanent move to this country.
Tasipale said: “It was one of the best moments of my career so far.
“It made it better that every game we went to there were fans because I couldn’t hear myself on the field.
“The support we got from the UK fans made it even better and I’m really excited to play in front of the Castleford fans.
“I’ve been watching some videos and they seem really passionate so I can’t wait to play in front of them.”