How Castleford could line-up in 2022

Castleford coach Lee Radford
Castleford coach Lee Radford

Castleford have been busy this off-season with transfers as Lee Radford leads them into a new era.

Radford takes charge of the Tigers in the 2022 season, with Daryl Powell appointed the new Warrington head coach on a three-year deal.

The Mend-A-Hose Jungle side have added the likes of Jake Mamo, Joe Westerman and Mahe Fonua to their squad for 2022, and look to be a strong outfit in the Super League competition.

Here’s how Castleford could line-up…

1 Niall Evalds

Niall Evalds in action for Castleford

Niall Evalds scored six Super League tries for the Tigers 2021, assisting 15 more. He originally joined the club ahead of the 2021 season, and agreed a new two-year deal in May. He scored a try in the club’s 2021 Challenge Cup final defeat to St Helens at Wembley.

2 Mahe Fonua

Mahe Fonua in action for Hull

Outside-back Mahe Fonua joins the club from Hull FC, where he had two spells with the side. Fonua played a vital role in the East Yorkshire side winning back-to-back Challenge Cup finals at Wembley during his first spell with the club in 2016 and 2017, scoring 31 tries in 58 games, and being named in the Super League Dream Team in both those seasons. He links back up with former coach Radford at Castleford, and could feature at both wing and centre for the club in 2022.

3 Jordan Turner

Jordan Turner was a stand-out player for Castleford in 2021, which saw him feature heavily on the wing. He scored 13 tries in 16 Super League appearances last year. Turner could swap positions with Fonua on the wing next season.

4 Jake Mamo

Jake Mamo was one of Warrington’s strongest players last year, and finished the season second on the table for most tries in the competition – with 16 to his name. He was also sixth for most metres made (2700) and is a highlight signing for the Tigers. He joins the club on a three-year deal.

5 Bureta Faraimo

Bureta Faraimo originally made the switch to Super League ahead of the 2018 season, joining Hull FC from New Zealand Warriors. He featured for Mackay Cutters before earning a chance to play for Parramatta Eels in the NRL, making his first-team debut in 2014. With competition from the likes of Greg Eden, James Clare and Derrell Olpherts, 2022 could see Faraimo play his best yet.

6 Jake Trueman

Due to injuries, Jake Trueman was limited to just seven Super League appearances in 2021. He scored three tries and assisted three more. The 22-year-old will be hoping for a big year ahead of the Rugby League World Cup.

7 Gareth O’Brien

30-year-old Gareth O’Brien has played more than 200 first-team games since his debut with Warrington in 2011. O’Brien can feature in the halves or at full-back, while Danny Richardson will also be competing for a place in the halves.

8 Liam Watts

Liam Watts will reunite with his former Hull coach Radford in pre-season. A powerful forward in the Super League, the 31-year-old made 14 appearances last season, scoring twice. He also made 10 tackle busts.

9 Paul McShane

Castleford have tied up Steve Prescott Man of Steel winner Paul McShane to a new deal that runs until the end of the 2025 season. The 31-year-old is one of the best hookers in the competition, and looks set to be their number nine for at least the next four seasons.

10 Nathan Massey

Nathan Massey could see himself promoted to a first-team number in 2022. The 32-year-old prop signed a new two-year deal with the club, agreeing to his 16th and 17th seasons with the club. With shirt number 14 last season, he made 18 appearances.

11 Cheyse Blair

Cheyse Blair arrived at Castleford in 2019 predominantly as a centre, but has seen his game time come in the back-row in Super League. The former Parramatta, Manly Sea Eagles and Melbourne Storm utility made 11 appearances last season.

12 Kenny Edwards

Castleford have added Huddersfield forward Kenny Edwards to their squad for 2022 on a one-year loan deal. The 32-year-old former Parramatta and Catalans forward can have a powerful impact. He represented Combined Nations All Stars in the mid-season test last year at Warrington.

13 Joe Westerman

Joe Westerman returns to the club where his career began on a two-year deal, and may take the number 13 spot from Adam Milner. The 31-year-old came through the Castleford youth ranks before bursting onto the scene during the Tigers’ Championship winning season in 2007. He has made more than 350 career appearances, and has also represented England and England Knights.

Bench

Castleford have a really strong, deep squad ahead of next year. Missing in the starting 13 are the likes of Eden, Richardson, Milner, Tyla Hepi, Jacques O’Neill and Daniel Smith.

Here’s what the bench could look like next season for the Tigers…

Bench: Adam Milner, Suaia Matagi, George Griffin, George Lawler.

READ MORE: How Wigan could line-up in 2022

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