Jon Wells: Our rivals have needed to strengthen, Castleford haven’t

Jacob Kilbride

Jon Wells has reasoned Castleford’s lack of transfer activity during the off-season by insisting that the Tigers did their business midway through 2018, whilst their title rivals needed to strengthen.

Castleford are yet to bring in any new recruits during the off-season, though full-back Peter Mata’utia and prop Liam Watts joined from Leigh and Hull FC respectively midway through the 2018 season.

Director of rugby Wells says that the Tigers weren’t in need of wholesale changes, unlike their counterparts.

“We’ve received quite a few raised eyebrows about the lack of transfer movement at the Tigers and my answer to that would be that those other clubs have needed to sign players,” said Wells.

“Leeds have really needed to, in particular. They needed to rebuild the club from the ground upwards.

“I’m really intrigued by Leeds. God only knows the conversations that Kevin Sinfield [director of rugby] and Gary Hetherington [chief executive] have been having. From what I can gather from the outside looking in, that [high profile signings] is probably very at odds with Gary’s philosophy.

“At Warrington, I don’t think that Tyrone Roberts was the signing that they thought he would be. Warrington made two major finals in 2018 and walked away with nothing, so they needed to make changes.

“We’re a club that are coming from a lower base and are steadily building. I think we’ve got a very good squad here.”

Further changes in Super League come in the form of rule changes, with the number of interchanges reduced, the free play gone and the shot clock and golden point introduced.

“I think the shot clock is a real positive move for the game,” added Wells.

“Putting my Sky hat on, I think a faster game with less down time is only going to be good for the sport. That will help the casual viewer in seeing a more all-action product.

“I think the number of interchanges being reduced feeds into that as well.

“The free play’s gone which is brilliant. I hated it. It was never used properly. James Child (referee) came and did a session with us last week and explained that its back to a traditional advantage rule, which is at the discretion of the referee.

“Golden point is something that I don’t have much of an opinion on one way or the other. I’m not hard on backing the traditional argument of a draw being a fair result and neither am I an advocate of saying the game must have a winner.

“I’m not sure how much of an impact that will have on the game. I certainly think the shot clock and the number of interchanges will have a significant and hopefully positive impact on the game.”