Papua New Guinea pack grows stronger at Castleford Tigers with new signing ‘really excited’; Veteran pens new deal

Ben Olawumi
Sylvester Namo Castleford Tigers

Papua New Guinea ace Sylvester Namo - Alamy

There will be three Papua New Guinea aces in Castleford Tigers’ ranks come 2024 after the addition of Sylvester Namo on a two-year deal.

The Tigers brought Kumuls star Liam Horne in midway through the 2023 campaign, making five appearances to help them over the line in achieving Super League survival.

And having recently recruited his international teammate Nixon Putt for next year, they’ve now made it a trio of PNG talent with the signing of prop Namo.

The 23-year-old started all four of the games at last year’s World Cup for Justin Holbrook’s side, including their quarter-final defeat to England at the DW Stadium on Bonfire Night.

Castleford Tigers’ Papua New Guinea pack grows stronger

Mount Hagen-born Namo makes the move to the Jungle having spent 2023 on a ‘train and replacement’ deal with NRL outfit North Queensland Cowboys.

Speaking to the Tigers’ website, he said: “I’m really excited, I can’t wait to make the most out of it and give my best to the club.I’m a little bit nervous to be travelling alone compared to the World Cup when I came with a full squad, but it’s going to be a great moment for me going overseas to play in England, especially playing at Castleford.

“We have a few PNG boys who will be good together. Liam Horne was telling me that the fans here are crazy, and I can’t wait to come and meet them. I’ll be going onto the field to run hard, tackle hard and do my job”

Another veteran re-signs with the Fords for 2024

Cas’ pack is coming together ahead of next year, recruiting Lebanon ace Elie El-Zakhem as well as the duo of PNG stars in Putt and Namo.

They’ve also already extended stalwart Joe Westerman’s contract for the next tw0 years, meaning he will finish off his career with his hometown club.

And over the weekend, the Tigers announced the re-signing of another club legend in Liam Watts, who pens a one-year extension at the Jungle.

The 33-year-old prop wants to use 2024 to help develop those around him, saying: “It’s going to be a massive next twelve months for me. I want to be playing consistently and playing well but it’s about mentoring and bringing a lot of stuff out of the young kids that are at the club like Muizz Mustapha and Sam Hall.

“These types of lads are the future coming through for our club, so it’s going to be massive. Me personally, I just want to be able to pass that knowledge on.

“You look at what Westy has done this year and he’s been all action, so hopefully I can get back to playing my best rugby and now it’s all sorted, I can help in bringing those young kids through with us, spending a bit of time with them, and putting effort into that pre-season. It’s going to be massive for their development.”

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