Castleford’s Bailey Hodgson follows uncle Josh in making NRL move

Wheldon Road Castleford
Castleford say they have received a transfer fee for teenager Bailey Hodgson, who will join his uncle Josh in the NRL after securing a three-year contract with Newcastle Knights.

The England youth international full-back or centre makes his move on the back of a solitary Super League appearance, which came in the Tigers’ win over Hull KR in October, just 10 days after his 18th birthday.

Castleford say the club’s scholarship graduate had a long-held ambition to follow in the footsteps of Josh Hodgson, the Canberra and England hooker, by testing himself in the NRL and had a clause in his contract allowing him to do so.

They say they are confident Hodgson will re-join them if he returns to England in the future and, in the meantime, have accepted an undisclosed fee which will be re-invested into the club’s playing squad.

Castleford’s head of youth performance Darren Higgins said: “We would like to wish Bailey all the best in Australia. It’s a challenge he always wanted to take on.

“Bailey’s progress is not only great recognition for his own work and dedication but for our youth provision with many people involved in this process.”

Hodgson is the second English teenager to sign with the Newcastle club, following their capture of Huddersfield centre or winger Dominic Young.

He will arrive in Australia on Saturday to enter two weeks of mandatory quarantine before linking up with the Knights squad for the 2021 pre-season.

Knights head of recruitment Clint Zammit said: “Bailey is an exciting prospect, he is a natural athlete with great balance and footwork.

“His willingness to work hard and compete in every aspect has allowed him to play in the Super League, despite his age.

“Whilst he is only young, he will be afforded all the time and resources required to allow him to grow into a player that we anticipate will have a long career at the Knights.”

The Knights have also announced the signing of Samoa international Sauaso Sue on a two-year deal.

Watch NRL and live stream every NRL game to keep up with how Tom Burgess, Josh Hodgson, Ryan Sutton, Elliott Whitehead, Luke Thompson and George Williams and all the others are getting on Down Under.

Listen to The Final Hooter podcast, featuring exclusive interviews, every week. SUBSCRIBE to Love Rugby League on Apple Podcasts.