Castleford Tigers have announced an exciting new partnership with League One side Midlands Hurricanes, which will focus primarily on aiding the development of young players in the Midlands area.
In a landmark agreement the Tigers, alongside the Tigers Foundation, will implement a player development infrastructure supporting the very beginning of a youngster’s journey in the sport alongside development camps with the Birmingham-based team.
This will undoubtedly help the club’s player pool grow as they look to a strong future. It will also help grow the game in the Midlands.
The collaboration will also act as a dual registration opportunity between the two clubs with developing talent at the Tigers being provided the opportunity extend their experience in a First Team environment at the Hurricanes, with Midlands’ representatives also having the opportunity to be part of Castleford’ Tigers’ Reserves squad.
Young Midlands players will also be presented with the opportunity to link up with the Foundation’s Tigers College programme and higher education provisions with the University Centre Leeds which offers aspiring players the chance to gain qualifications alongside their playing career.
Fresh on the heels of the confirmation that the Tigers have been granted an Elite Academy Licence by the RFL until 2027, the connection is the latest addition to Castleford’s comprehensive programme for young players.
Whilst the Midlands is perhaps not viewed as an area that is typically associated with rugby league, the Fords have a history of providing a platform for youngsters from the Midlands area to progress – which is highlighted by former Cas man Lewis Peachey, who originally hails from Nottingham. The young prop came through the Tigers Talent Pathway and developed in the Tigers’ system making his Super League debut for Castleford in 2019.
Head of Rugby & Development at the Tigers, Danny Wilson, reaffirmed how this news will aid the Fords’ focus on youth development by saying: “It’s a really multi layered partnership which starts at dual reg so players can go from our Reserves to Midlands and vice versa. The second part of that is that some of our players will go there for the year and the third part is that Hurricanes players will get the opportunity to train with our Reserve team.
“We are really looking at developing players nationwide which is good for the game and growing participation levels and therefore player development. That will then hopefully lead to Cas Tigers lifting trophies in the future.”
Simon Fox, Community Director of Castleford Tigers Foundation, shared how important this partnership will be for young players developments both on and off the field and said: “The connection with the Hurricanes is a genuinely exciting proposition for both parties. Player development and educational access is at the heart of our Tigers development DNA. This partnership extends that geographical spread and hopefully provides vital opportunities for youngsters in both areas of the country.”
Greg Wood, CEO and owner of Midlands Hurricanes detailed the positive impact this collaboration will have on his club and the area in general moving forward.
“We are absolutely delighted to be announcing our exciting partnership with the Tigers. They are clearly a club with an incredible history and presence in the game and where we are very much at the starting point of our journey it will no doubt be very beneficial for us to be working closely with the Tigers.
“Growth of the sport and development has always been at the top of the Hurricanes agenda and this partnership again puts this ethos at the forefront of what we are working towards. The partnership is already working well with the teams integrating training sessions and I look forward to seeing what further developments we can work towards in the future.”