Castleford Tigers win the race for highly-rated Championship ace’s signature; Vows to ‘take the opportunity with both hands’

Ben Olawumi
Josh Hodson

Josh Hodson joins Castleford ahead of 2024 - Alamy

Castleford Tigers have fought off competition from two other Super League clubs for the signature of Batley Bulldogs ace Josh Hodson, who pens a two-year deal at the Jungle.

The centre, 26, ends a two-year stint with the Bulldogs after 55 appearances following 19 in London Broncos’ colours.

Hodson played for the Bulldogs in their play-off final defeat to Leigh – then Centurions – last October as well as their 1895 Cup final defeat to Halifax Panthers at Wembley in August.

Crossing for 19 tries this term, the centre has worked under Tigers’ assistant – and Batley head coach until the end of this year – Craig Lingard, a relationship which is thought to have played a big part in Cas winning the race for his signature.

Castleford Tigers sign Championship ace Josh Hodson

Speaking to the Fords’ club website having put pen to paper, Hodson said: “I’m very happy! It’s an exciting time for myself to be joining a club like Castleford.

“I can’t wait to get started. I want to challenge myself and come up from the Championship, and see how I handle myself in Super League.

It’s going to be very helpful working with Lingard as the assistant coach. I’ve worked with him at Batley, so he understands how I work as a player. Hopefully that will allow me to develop further. Linners spoke highly of the club when we spoke, and he was telling me about the set up of the club before I signed.

“I’m glad to be back in a full time environment and be giving myself the time to develop. I’ll be giving it my all. I like to carry the ball. I’m not going to be holding back, and I’ll give it everything I’ve got to take the opportunity with both hands.”

Fords pack shaping up nicely ahead of 2024

Hodson becomes the latest addition to the pack at the Jungle ahead of 2024. Over the weekend, Sylvester Namo was announced alongside a new one-year deal for club stalwart Liam Watts.

Namo’s signature takes Cas’ Papua New Guinea contingent up to three, alongside Liam Horne and another new recruit in Nixon Putt.

The West Yorkshire outfit have also recently announced a two-year contract extension for Joe Westerman, with the 33-year-old now set to end his career with his hometown club.

Additionally, the Tigers have already confirmed the arrival of another overseas star for 2024 in Lebanon ace Elie El-Zakhem.

But while Cas’ pack grows stronger, there’s still a vacancy in the hotseat at the Jungle. Danny Ward arrived late on in the campaign and helped to guide the club to Super League survival, though is believed to have turned down the role permanently.

Current Hull KR assistant and Leeds Rhinos legend Danny McGuire has been reported by Examiner Live as the Tigers’ number one target, with an approach made.

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