Danny Richardson has got off to a good start to life at Castleford, and already has fans purring at the thought of a long-term partnership with fellow young half-back Jake Trueman.
Richardson, 23, moved to The Jungle from St Helens in the off-season having seen himself frozen out in 2019 after bursting on to the scene in 2018, where he was named in the Super League Dream Team.
The move sees him link with Trueman, 20, one of the most exciting prospects in the game and a player that was part of the Great Britain tour in the autumn.
If all goes well, the pair could enjoy a blossoming partnership on both the domestic and international stage – not least, because they have the expertise of former half-backs Daryl Powell, Danny Orr and Ryan Sheridan to get the best out of them.
Richardson said: “It’s great playing under Daryl, Danny and Shez, they’re all former half-backs and they know everything about the game. I’m learning a lot off them and I will continue to do so and become the best player I can.
“Truey was with GB so didn’t come back straight away, but since the day he came we clicked straight away and we’re good mates already and building a partnership. I feel like we can strike and get something going.
“It would be ideal if that was the plan (to be Castleford and England’s half-backs for the next 10 years). Whatever happens, hopefully we can play together for the next however many years and try and win some silverware along the way.”
Sheridan had a brief, injury-hit spell at Richardson’s hometown club Widnes in 2003, though that was a bit too long ago for the then six-year-old Richardson to remember.
Now 44, Sheridan enjoyed a fine career with Sheffield and Leeds, including three Great Britain caps; while Orr made more than 400 appearances for Castleford, Wigan and Harlequins.
Powell is the most decorated of the trio though – he played for Sheffield, Keighley and Leigh, as well as enjoying stints Down Under with Balmain and Gold Coast.
He earned 27 Great Britain caps and was part of the England team that reached the 1995 World Cup final.
Richardson’s goalkicking was crucial in the 16-12 win over Wigan last week, which followed their opening round victory over Toronto.
It’s been a move out of his comfort zone for Richardson, who made his St Helens debut in 2017 and has spent time out on dual-registration with Sheffield and Leigh in the Championship.
He’s moved east of the Pennines to Leeds to almost restart a career that had only really just started.
He added: “I’ve come from St Helens where there’s a pressure to win every game, and I feel that’s put me in good stead to deal with anything in the future.
“This move is just another thing I need to deal with. The pressure is I’ve come to a new team, people will be watching thinking how will I get on and can he get back to how he played in 2018.
“But I’m just concentrating on doing my job for Castleford and seeing where we end up.”
Richardson and his Castleford team-mates are in Perpignan this weekend to take on Catalans, with Israel Folau in line to make his Dragons debut.