Ryan Hampshire’s time at Castleford may well be over after the 27-year-old was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign through an ACL injury.
Hampshire, who has played at fullback in recent weeks, only joined the Tigers ahead of the 2022 campaign. That deal only being on a one-year basis means he is out of contract come the end of this season.
Having broken his hand in a reserves game earlier this year, the versatile back has only managed five first-grade appearances. And withdrawn early against Catalans last time out, it could well be curtains for his Castleford career as revealed by boss Lee Radford.
“It doesn’t look great. We’ve got a second scan booked in for him early next week, but his ACL doesn’t look great if we’re being honest,” said Radford.
“It’s really unfortunate for him because in the last three games, I think he’s been really good for us. It’s disappointing and it is [a blow in terms of his future]. The timing couldn’t be any worse for him really. Unfortunately, it’s a part of the sport that we play.
“I felt form wise he was in a real good place. He was adding to us and the way we played, so to lose him is obviously a knock for us.”
Radford Realises Extent of Injury
If Hampshire is to leave the Jungle, it will signal the end of a second spell playing for the Tigers. Starting out at Wigan, he enjoyed a loan spell with Cas in 2016, scoring eight tries in 22 appearances.
Hampshire – known by his teammates as ‘Rocky’ – then went on to Leigh and Wakefield before returning to the Fords.
Training on his own having been released by Trinity to earn the contract back at Cas, head coach Radford understands how much of a blow this latest injury is.
He added, “It’s massive for him as well, you don’t want to see those injuries on your worst enemy. When you do an ACL, it’s your season finished.
“We’ll do right by him, we’ll try and get him back on the field as soon as we possibly can, and he’ll be in good hands with the medical department here.
“It’s just one of the setbacks in your career for him that you wouldn’t wish on anybody. Until it’s confirmed, we don’t know for sure, but an ACL is notoriously nine to 12 months out. I really hope it’s the lesser of the two.”
Radford’s side welcome Huddersfield tomorrow evening. In a coincidental twist of fate, Hampshire’s fellow fullback Niall Evalds is back in the squad after his own spell on the sidelines.