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“An embarrassment to the game” – Craig Lingard rages over England-France clash after losing star player

Castleford Tigers boss Craig Lingard

Castleford Tigers head coach Craig Lingard has hit out after losing a star man for the rest of the season on international duty for England.

Sam Wood, one of the Tigers’ stand-out and most consistent performers, will miss the rest of the 2024 campaign due to a shoulder injury.

He’s had an excellent season, playing in every game for the Tigers this year and being one of their most impressive performers week after week.

His form earned him a surprise call-up from Shaun Wane to the England squad, and he started in the centres against France.

However, this is where he picked up his shoulder injury, as has been confirmed by Lingard in a press conference ahead of their clash against St Helens tomorrow night.

Castleford will now likely be forced to play Alex Mellor in the centres alongside Corey Hall.

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

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“An embarrassment to the game” – Castleford Tigers boss rages over England-France clash

Lingard was clearlt frustrated with losing Wood in a really significant blow, saying: “I’d certainly not hold any players back from playing for their country and want to do as much as I can to make sure the international game grows – but it’s got to be better than it was.

“To echo the comments from Willie [Peters] and Matty Peet, the pinnacle of anybody’s career is representing their country and we’ve got to make sure the spectacle represents that as well. I don’t think last week did any good for the game at all.”

Yet another Super League head coach sharing their disappointment with the spectacle will surely cause the powers that be to make changes in the future.

He then didn’t hold back, clearly sharing the views of many people within the game that criticised the game’s scheduling and lack of TV coverage: “I’ll be fully supportive of it as a club coach to release any players that are called up but it’s frustrating to lose a player who has been so influential to us this season in a match that was an embarrassment to the game.”

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