Cas look to Hanbury to replace banned Hardaker

Widnes Vikings 26-6 Catalans Dragons

Reports suggest that Super League Grand Finalists Castleford have shown interest in signing Widnes Vikings’ full-back Rhys Hanbury to replace Zak Hardaker, who is set for a ban after testing positive for cocaine.

Hardaker is likely to be banned for two years for the positive test, which ruled him out of the Grand Final, and Tigers Coach Daryl Powell is desperate to line up a direct replacement before the players return for pre-season training.

Hanbury, from Woolongong Australia, certainly fits the bill as he has been a consistent performer in Super League since his debut for Crusaders in 2010. He signed for the Vikings in 2012 and has been a stand-out player in the Widnes ranks for six seasons.

He struggled with injury last year only making 14 appearances as the Vikings had to fight for Super League survival in the Qualifiers, he still scored 9 tries last year though kicking 14 goals. All in all he has played 146 games for the Vikings scoring 67 tries.

At 32 years old, Hanbury isn’t one for the future but will certainly plug the gap left by Hardaker next season as the Tigers look to build on last season’s League Leaders Shield. He is contracted to Widnes until the end of 2019.