How Ben Nakubuwai move to Castleford Tigers could kickstart Super League recruitment chain

Aaron Bower

Pic: Alamy

Castleford Tigers have held conversations about a move for Ben Nakubuwai, as revealed by Love Rugby League on Monday – and it could have ramifications on a number of clubs across the competition.

The Tigers are scouring Super League for potential recruits after a disappointing start to the new season, with Nakubuwai identified as a player of interest for Craig Lingard’s side.

There is a slight sticking point, in that the Tigers would need to release an existing overseas player to facilitate a move for the Leigh Leopards prop, with Albert Vete appearing the most likely player in that bracket.

If Vete is released from his deal, it would enable Castleford to head into the market, with Nakubuwai a possible option. But that will have a direct impact on Nakubuwai’s current club, Leigh.

Love Rugby League understands they would then accelerate their long-held ambition to secure a deal to sign Newcastle Knights winger David Armstrong, with a move likely to be tied up relatively quickly.

Leigh have been working to potentially find a way to free up space on their overseas quota, but had to put those plans on hold in recent weeks due to a long list of injuries to key personnel, including captain John Asiata and prop Tom Amone.

But with Amone now back fit and Asiata also closing in on a return, the Leopards are open to Nakubuwai leaving for pastures new – with Castleford a potential location.

The injury to Gareth O’Brien would push a deal for Armstrong high up Leigh’s priority list too, with Armstrong identified as a player who can play fullback at Super League level on a regular basis.

Castleford’s recruitment charge wouldn’t end with the arrival of Nakubuwai, either. As reported elsewhere, they are looking to tie up a deal for Hull KR outside back Louis Senior and they have the cap space and spend to do even more business on top of that.

Hull FC are in talks with players on both sides of the world, but Super League clubs are hesitant to trim their squads too much. However, the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup now coming to a close means a number of sides would be more open to players leaving on short-term deals, due to the fact they would not be cup tied.

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