Evans forced to retire

Castleford Tigers centre James Evans has made the decision to retire from the game having not recovered from the groin injury that prematurely ended his 2010 campaign.

A former Canberra Raiders player in the Australian NRL competition, Evans, 32, had a distinguished career in the British game where he represented Huddersfield, Wakefield, Bradford and finally Castleford in 2009 and 2010.

Tigers head coach Terry Matterson explains: “We’re massively disappointed. Jimmy is a quality person and we had high hopes of him bouncing back with a big 2011.

“Unfortunately his injury has made it difficult for him to continue playing Rugby League to the high standards he has set himself.

“He will be sorely missed. In his time at the club he has been the ultimate professional in all areas.

“He has been a strong defensive player for us and had a knack of crossing the line, scoring 16 tries in 31 appearances.

“When he came to the club in 2009 he made a big contribution to our rise up the table and was a key member in securing a play-off position that year.

“It is a very unselfish decision he has made with the club’s best interests at heart. He has exhausted every avenue in order to recover, but has made the tough but right decision to retire.

“This way he’s given the club an opportunity to find a replacement before the season gets underway and I’d like to wish him and his partner Kat all the very best for the future.”

James, who is returning “home” to Australia, speaks highly of his time at the club: “I’d like to thank Terry (Matterson) and all of the coaching staff who have worked with me. The coaching and the way the club has looked after me has been 1st class.

“I’d also like to thank Richard (Wright) and all of the staff at the club who work hard behind the scenes constantly helping us out.

“The fans have been great. They go everywhere to support us and I’d also like to thank them for the way they got behind me and made me feel welcome at the club.

“I’m going home (to Australia) where I’ll relax for the first few weeks. I’ve no definite plans as to what I’m going to do so I’ll see what opportunities come up.”

“I’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on the club’s fortunes in the future. I’ve really enjoyed my time at the Tigers.”

Evans made 158 competitive appearances in the British game having originally signed for Huddersfield Giants in 2004. After a loan spell at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in 2006, James moved to Bradford and enjoyed two seasons at the Bulls where he took the coaches player of the year award. He then joined the Tigers ahead of the 2009 season.

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