Castleford’s recruitment for 2022 has already been taking shape with incoming boss Lee Radford preparing early.
The likes of Jake Mamo, Alex Sutcliffe, George Lawler and Bureta Faraimo are all thought to have signed for next season and beyond, but it’s expected that Radford will continue the rebuild at the Jungle.
But, just which five out-of-contract Super League players should Radford look to sign?
Rhyse Martin – Leeds Rhinos
With Oliver Holmes leaving, Castleford now have a huge gap to fill in the back-row. One target who has been rumoured in the past is Rhyse Martin, who has been one of Leeds’ most in-form players over the past few years. And, Martin is still only 28 and seems to be getting better with each passing game. Having joined Leeds midway through 2019, the second-rower has become a formidable pack star for the Rhinos and would more than bolster the Tigers’ back-row.
James Bentley – St Helens
As above, Castleford need more firepower in the pack and James Bentley would provide that in spades. An absolute workhorse, the St Helens man is still only 23 with a massive future ahead of him, so Bentley’s signature would be a real coup for the Tigers. Beginning his career at Bradford, the second-rower moved to Saints ahead of the 2018 season, but found his feet towards the back end of 2020 and now looks every bit a future England international.
Chris Satae – Hull FC
Arguably Hull’s greatest player in 2021 so far, Chris Satae seems to be improving with every game, but he is still yet to decide on his future despite being a big hit at the KCOM Stadium. He would probably command a large wage, but it would certainly be worth it in the long run for Castleford who hacked notorious firepower up front for some years now.
Dom Manfredi – Wigan Warriors
Having been linked with a move away for the past few months, there is uncertainty about Dom Manfredi’s Wigan career. The winger has been at the Warriors since 2013, but has spent a lot of time on the sidelines. Still only 27, Manfredi would, however, offer a lot to Castleford, particularly when considering that the Tigers have lacked spark in the outside backs this season.
Benjamin Garcia – Catalans Dragons
Despite being only 28 years of age, Benjamin Garcia seems to have been around forever yet the Catalans skipper is out of contract at the end of 2021. It remains to be seen whether Garcia would leave the Dragons, but it would be a superb signing for the Tigers and would give them that much-needed grunt up front.