Papua New Guinea international makes immediate Super League switch in bid for club’s top flight survival

Josh McAllister
Liam Horne Papua New Guinea PA

Liam Horne (right) in action on his international debut for Papua New Guinea in 2022

Castleford Tigers have announced the signing of Papua New Guinea international Liam Horne on a one-and-a-half-year contract, with an option for a further season.

Horne, 26, moved to Australia from PNG as a youngster and was picked up by Brisbane side Norths Devils.

Capable of playing hooker, full-back, centre and loose forward, he was a part of the club’s winning 2021 season in the Intrust Super Cup.

He was called into Brisbane Broncos’ NRL squad for a pre-season friendly ahead of the 2023 campaign, and has featured 14 times for the Devils back in the Queensland Cup, scoring nine tries.

Horne made his Papua New Guinea debut against Fiji last year in a World Cup warm-up contest, resulting in a 24-14 victory for the Kumuls at Campbelltown Stadium in June.

Castleford head coach Andy Last spoke highly of his latest recruit, with tension heating up at the bottom of the Super League table in the fight for survival.

Wakefield sit at the foot on the table with six points, with the Tigers only above by one win. Recent victories over Catalans and Trinity have seen Ian Watson’s Huddersfield claim 14 points overall on the table.

Mark Applegarth added Ireland international Innes Senior to his squad on loan from the Giants on Monday, with the likes of David Fifita, Will Dagger and French duo Romain Franco and Hugo Salabio having been signed during the season.

Castleford boss on Liam Horne signing

“Liam is an explosive player with good leg speed and versatility,” Last said.

“He is comfortable at nine or 13 and has played centre and in the spine.

“His running game and agility make him a really dynamic player which at this time of year will be a real asset for us.

“We are looking forward to welcoming him into our group and improving the competition within our squad on a day-to-day basis.”

The Tigers also added duo Billy Tsikrikas and Alex Foster to their squad just last week, with Jordan Johnstone having arrived from Widnes on loan to replace injured skipper Paul McShane.

Greece international prop forward Tsikrikas, 28, linked up with the Tigers on Monday morning after arriving from Australia.

Warrington half-back Riley Dean joined the Mend-A-Hose Jungle outfit on a season-long loan deal earlier in June, having started the campaign in the Championship with leaders Featherstone Rovers.

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