Tigers loan out young guns

Castleford Tigers are to send half-back Ben Johnston and utility-back James Clare out on loan for 2013. 

Clare, who made three Super League appearances in 2012, will go on loan to Championship newcomers Doncaster. The 21 year-old former Castleford Lock Lane amateur has been with the Wheldon Road based Super League club for the last three years and is a graduate of the Tigers’ successful academy set up. 

The Townville born youngster has been a member of Castleford’s first team squad for 12 months and made his Super League debut this season against Huddersfield Giants back in March.

Clare went on to make two further senior appearances in the competition against Widnes Vikings and the Giants once again, and scored his first Super League try in the latter fixture in an impressive 52-6 victory for the Tigers.

Whilst being a utility man, Clare’s position of choice is on the wing, and the former clubman of the year has shown potential to become an important member of the Tigers squad thanks to his all-round talents and versatility.

Dons’ head coach Tony Miller said: “I’ve seen James play a few times for Castleford and I’m confident he’ll become a really good signing for us. He’ll give us plenty of options in the back line and this season long loan further strengthens both a spirited and resilient squad as we prepare for next year. James comes with Super League experience and a professional approach to the game and that can only be a good thing for the team and the players around him. I’m delighted to have him on board.”

Clare commented: “There were quite a few clubs who wanted me to sign for them with the Super League under 20’s disbanding but it was my decision to join Doncaster. The Dons have just had an excellent season and everything seemed right about the club during our discussions. I met up with Tony this week and had a good look around the Keepmoat Stadium and I was really impressed with the facilities they have there. I’m looking forwarding to meeting up with the lads and I hope to have a really good season with the club.”

Johnston, 20, who went on loan to York City Knights last season before returning to make his Super League debut for the Tigers, will join Dewsbury Rams.

They will be available to play for their Championship clubs from February and will be on a 24-hour call back for the Tigers after 28 days.

Steve Gill, Castleford’s head of youth development, said: “The loan spell will offer the opportunity for them to step up to regular first-team rugby which will no doubt enable them to further develop as players. We hope it won’t be long before they are making their mark in Super League for the Tigers.” 

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