Castleford Tigers have made a major statement with the signing of Joe Westerman on a two-year deal with the from the 2022 season.
The forward will return to the club where his professional career began, over ten years on since his last appearance as a Castleford player.
The 31-year-old came through the Castleford youth ranks before bursting onto the scene during the Tigers’ Championship winning season in 2007, with Westerman playing an integral role in that campaign, including scoring a try in the Grand Final which took the Tigers back into the Super League.
Since leaving at the end of the 2010 season, Westerman has gone on to play for Hull FC, Warrington Wolves, Toronto Wolfpack and is now at Wakefield Trinity, where he has been in some of the best form of his career, particularly in 2021 which has seen him earn a call-up to the latest England squad.
Speaking on the club website, Westerman voiced his delight at re-joining his hometown club in 2022, saying:
“It’s been about 10 years since I last played at Castleford, and since I was a young kid, I have always supported Cas. My whole family around me support Cas so it will be good, and it is something I am really looking forward to.
“Cas has always been a big club in my eyes. From being a kid and supporting them to now, where they are up there with some quality players, it is really exciting. The standard is really high now and I just want to get there and play well for my hometown club next year.”
With such impressive performances so far for Wakefield this season, Shaun Wane drafted Westerman into his England squad, and Joe explained that he had fallen back in love with the sport whilst he has been with Trinity.
“I’m loving my time at Wakefield, and I have the utmost respect for the club and the people in it. It has made me enjoy my rugby again and I have got a lot to thank Wakefield for. I get up every morning loving going to work.
“I think it is just me enjoying my rugby and finding the love for it again. I have realised the little things you have to do away from the pitch to make you a better player.”
Lee Radford is a familiar face for the loose-forward, as the pair worked alongside each other at Hull FC and Joe is very excited about working with his former coach again in 2022.
“I have worked with Lee Radford for a lot of years, I get on well with him as a coach and as a person. I honestly think that he will do a great job at Cas, and he’ll have the fans on his side straight away.”
The Fords’ Head Coach from 2022 was very pleased with capturing Joe Westerman for his Tigers squad next season, praising his terrific efforts this year in Betfred Super League.
“Joe is in very good form, and he is in a good place in his life, he is at a point in his career that he has a couple of years to win something,” said Radford.
“In my opinion, he should have more international caps than he has but for whatever reason that hasn’t happened. I honestly think for a ball playing thirteen there aren’t too many better in the competition at the minute.”