Castleford to benefit from Championship recruitment following Craig Lingard’s arrival 

Josh McAllister
Andy Last, Craig Lingard

Castleford head coach Andy Last believes Craig Lingard’s appointment as assistant could help the club recruit from the Championship.

Lingard, 45, joins the Super League outfit on a two-and-a-half-year deal and will combine his role as Batley’s head coach until the end of 2023.

He will then solely be at Wheldon Road alongside recently appointed Last, with Lingard having led Batley to the Championship Grand Final against Leigh last campaign against the odds.

Castleford hold one of the longest lists of off-contract players for the 2024 season, including the likes of Jordan Turner, Liam Watts and Joe Westerman.

It is an ageing squad at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle, but Last believes Lingard’s appointment and experience could help the side recruit from the second division.

The likes of Leeds, Salford and St Helens have most recently dipped into the Championship market in recent years, which has seen players such as Luke Hooley, Deon Cross and Tee Ritson given their chance in the top flight. 

Craig Lingard to benefit Castleford’s recruitment drive

“I’m really pleased that Craig has decided to join us,” said Last.

“I had a couple of good chats with him face-to-face and got a really good feel for the type of person that he is and the type of coach that he is. 

“He’s got great experience. He understands what it takes to win. His teams are difficult to play against and they’re creative. 

“He’s done a really good job at Batley, so I’m pleased to have him on board.

“His experience is something that I’ll be able to lean on heavily. 

“The fact that he’s been a head coach for a number of years in the Championship and his understanding of the Championship will benefit us in terms of recruitment opportunities and players who could potentially step up to Super League. 

“I think the fact that he’s a former full-back, he can take a bit more of a lead on the attacking side of things.

“He’s knowledgeable and he has a good eye for the game, and I just feel he’ll be a really good fit for us.”

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