Castleford Tigers can confirm, ahead of their final home match of the regular Betfred Super League season on August Bank Holiday Monday, that six players will be departing the club at the end of the campaign.
Derrell Olpherts, Jake Trueman, James Clare, Cheyse Blair, Ryan Hampshire and Sosaia Feki will be moving on to their next chapters at the end of the season.
The club said: “Everyone at Castleford Tigers would like to thank these players for their service to our club and wish them well in whatever comes next for them.”
Olpherts joined the Tigers ahead of the 2020 season and has gone on to make 63 appearances to date, scoring 35 tries. A consistent regular as a starting winger, Olpherts was in the Tigers’ Challenge Cup Final squad at Wembley Stadium in July 2021. Just last night in the Tigers’ win over Warrington Wolves, Olpherts bagged himself yet another brace of scores taking his season tally up to 17 for the year, four of which came on a memorable night at Hull FC back in July.
Last month Jake Trueman was confirmed to be departing the club and moving on to join Hull FC from the 2023 season. Trueman’s time at the Tigers was sadly cut short due to a long-term ACL injury picked up during a game. This injury has now been operated on and the rehab work has begun. Across six seasons, after joining in January 2017, the halfback made 103 appearances in the black and amber, registering 32 tries in the process.
A lifelong Castleford fan, James Clare will bring the curtain down on his Castleford First Team playing career at the end of the 2022 season. ‘Sticks’ came through the Tigers’ Academy before making his Super League debut in 2012, and over the following three years he would develop into a regular starter. Time away from the club in 2016 & 2017 followed before returning to Wheldon Road in 2018, and 2019 was a fantastic season for Clare ending the year as the club’s top try scorer. A beloved member of the squad, ‘Sticks’ has been regularly working with the youngsters in the First Team and has been part of the coaching staff for the Tigers’ Academy this year too.
Ryan Hampshire re-joined the Tigers for his second spell back in March, but it was a tough start for the utility back after picking up a broken hand in his first match back with the Reserves team. However, in May against Hull KR, he would make his long-awaited second Cas debut back in the First Team fold. ‘Rocky’ made five appearances this year, scoring twice. In his last game in 2022 he scored against Catalans Dragons but had to come off due to an ACL injury, which has now been operated on and he is on the road to recovery.
Castleford Tigers can confirm that Ryan Hampshire will continue his ACL rehabilitation with the Tigers despite being off contract at the end of the 2022 season. The club and Ryan will have discussions regarding his future at the Tigers at an appropriate time sometime in the future.
Due to injuries suffered Sosaia Feki has sadly been limited to just two First Team match appearances after joining the club ahead of the 2020 season, however, he did feature in Michael Shenton’s testimonial match against Toronto Wolfpack at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle ahead of his first season with Cas.
Due to an initial calf injury and the pause of the season due to the Covid pandemic, Feki’s full Tigers debut came in September 2020 against Hull FC, but he would have to come off due to a knee injury picked up in the match. Ahead of the 2021 season he was back in training and looking strong, but an Achilles injury halted his progress and ruled him out for all that season and a lot of this current campaign too.
However, after making a couple of Reserves appearances, Sosaia finally made his Super League debut against St Helens at the start of August and received a warm reception from the travelling Fords faithful. Sadly, a tear to his quad looks to have ended his season which is heart-breaking given just how hard he has worked to get back to match fitness.