Riley Dean: Castleford Tigers loanee set for debut as coach provides latest on half-back’s future

Drew Darbyshire
Riley Dean Castleford Tigers Warrington Wolves

Riley Dean has recently joined Castleford Tigers on a season-long loan from Warrington Wolves

Promising half-back Riley Dean is set to make his Castleford Tigers debut following his season-long loan move from Warrington Wolves.

The 21-year-old linked up with the Tigers earlier this month on a loan deal until the end of the season.

Dean impressed in the Championship this year whilst on loan at league leaders Featherstone, scoring five tries and kicking 23 goals in 11 appearances for Sean Long’s side.

Dean, who captained Ireland’s first-ever Under-16s team, is expected to make his Castleford debut in their trip to St Helens on Friday night.

“He’s a very composed, young rugby league player and is a smart operator,” said Castleford coach Andy Last.

“He has fitted in really well with the group, he knows his rugby.

“He picked off some nice kick plays and pass plays during the week and he just looks like a natural footballer which is what we need and what we feel will be a really good fit for us between now and the end of the year.

“It will be a real benefit to Riley, playing under pressure in Super League week in, week out, for a team who are battling at the bottom of the competition so he’ll have to take on some ownership and organisation duties for us and it’s something which I think he’ll excel in.”

Castleford Tigers coach provides update on the future of Riley Dean

Halifax-born Dean has made 10 appearances for Warrington since making his first team debut for the Wolves back in 2019.

When asked if Dean’s loan move could be made permanent at the end of the year, Last replied: “Too early to say at the moment, obviously he is here on loan until the end of the year.

“We’re going to have a good look at him and he’s probably going to have a good look at us and see how it fits but at this moment it is too early to say.”

Building up combinations

Last says Dean has formed a good partnership with experienced playmaker Jacob Miller in training, and is looking forward to seeing how they go against champions St Helens on Friday.

Last added: “Riley is a very good footballer, comfortable playing short and long with the ball in hand and he’s got a good running game as well.

“I think his short kicking game will add something to us, just looking for him to be that foil for Jacob Miller.

“Milky (Miller) can lead the team and Riley can be that second pivot to Jacob.

“They’ve done really well on the training field and they look as though they are comfortable, building a nice combination there with Gaz Widdop (full-back) finding some reasonable form, who is looking a threat out the back so the spine of the team is looking good and the team know what they are on with now, very comfortable with how we want to play.

“We’ve just got to go out and execute.”

Castleford’s clash with St Helens takes place at The Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday, 8pm kick-off.

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