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3 potential Tasipale replacements for Castleford Tigers

Castleford Tigers Craig Lingard Martin Taupau

Castleford Tigers have a quota spot free now that Charbel Tasipale has been released from his contract on compassionate grounds.

Therefore, they’re now able to make another overseas signing, after already making the signing of Tex Hoy earlier this season after Albert Vete was released.

Here are three options.

Three potential Tasipale replacements for Castleford Tigers

Zac Cini

Zac Cini of the Tigers on debut celebrates winning with his friends and family during the round eight NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and Wests Tigers

Credit: Imago Images

Off-contract after this year, Zac Cini is primarily a centre, but has also played at fullback in the NSW Cup this year.

A few months ago, that fact would have been huge, but Tex Hoy seems to have finally solved their full-back problem for now.

His versatility means he’s also played on the wing and in the halves.

He scored on debut in NRL, helping Wests Tigers to victory over St George Illawarra Dragons, but since signing for Parramatta Eels, he’s been a main-stay in the NSW Cup instead.

With Brad Arthur now gone, the Eels may decide to make plenty of on-field changes as well, and that could start with getting off-contract players off the books.

He’s very talented, and the Tigers may just see this as an opportunity to be the side to secure his services first.

The 24-year-old’s nine tries this year show he could prove invaluable for Lingard’s side, and he resembles Sam Wood’s style of play in many ways.

All that being said, the Tigers probably don’t need another back – a prop is far more important at this stage.

Castleford Tigers Quiz: Can you name these former Super League players?

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Martin Taupau

Martin Taupau of Brisbane Broncos

Credit: Imago Images

A man that’s been perennially linked with Leeds Rhinos for the best part of a decade, it seems his days at Brisbane Broncos are numbered.

A former Samoa and New Zealand international with almost 250 NRL appearanaces, he’d be a big-name signing.

Castleford are also clearly in need of props. Matty English signed on a short-term loan deal this month from Huddersfield Giants, a move which may well be extended further, but other options, such as George Griffin, are not performing well, meaning Taupau may be an option that Craig Lingard is interested in.

For Manly Sea Eagles alone, he made 156 appearances, and got his big break at Canterbury Bulldogs due to a suspension for former St Helens star James Graham freeing up a starting spot.

A main-stay of the side in 2023, he’s made just three appearances this year due to the emergence of young talents and the form of Corey Jensen.

The salary cap, according to News Corp, will mean he won’t have his contract extended, with big deals for forwards, as well as a huge reported offer to Reece Walsh of over 1 million Australian dollars, will put a strain on it.

Therefore, it seems very likely that a mid-season move is possible.

Ben Nakubuwai

Leigh Leopards Fijian forward Ben Nakubuwai at Hull FC s MKM Stadium

Credit: Imago Images

It looked for all the world that he’d be signing for Castleford Tigers earlier this season, but that move never materialised, and the Tigers used their quota spot for Tex Hoy instead.

He’s a player that’s been linked with moves away for a long time, and it’s never felt that he was a huge part of Adrian Lam’s long-term plans.

The Leopards’ own injury problems meant they needed numbers, but now that key players are back fit, they can let Nakubwai leave after two years at the club.

There’s already been somewhat of an exodus at Leigh this year, with key men such as John Asiata making their way through the exit door, but it feels like this wouldn’t be a loss that the Leopards would be as upset about.

That’s not to say he isn’t a good player though – he looked a top talent in 2023, as Leigh won the Challenge Cup with Nakubuwai making 19 appearances.

They’ve already shown a willingness to let him go mid-season, and he’s been loaned out to RFL Championship side Featherstone Rovers, so this could be an option for Castleford now they have another spot free – if the conditions in his loan to Featherstone allow it.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mongtard

    June 26, 2024 at 10:08 am

    Ben Nakubuwai is awful

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