Testimonials are the best way for rugby league as a sport to honour and show respect to those who have served the game in such a distinguished manner, for such long periods.
Only a select few are granted such a game and it’s often those that have had extended and exceptional careers.
The latest man to be added to the list of those granted a testimonial is Castleford Tigers’ captain Paul McShane.
After an impressive 14-year playing career the hooker has been granted an RFL for services to the sport of rugby league.
The Tigers released the news as a statement via their website.
“Castleford Tigers captain Paul McShane has been granted a testimonial for the 2024 season following 14 years of service to the sport of rugby league.
“McShane began his career at Leeds Rhinos and rose through the youth ranks before going on to make 63 appearances for the Headingley club. Loan spells at Hull FC, Widnes Vikings, and Hunslet Hawks followed before making the move to Wakefield Trinity.
“The 33-year-old linked up with the Tigers in 2015 and has served the Fords with distinction ever since. McShane has clocked up 211 appearances for Castleford, scoring on 29 occasions and kicking 68 goals. A monumental season in 2020 saw McShane receive the illustrious Steve Prescott Man of Steel Award as the best player in the Super League competition.
“His performances in a Cas shirt earned him international call-ups in 2021 with Shaun Wane naming him in the England squad to face the Combined Nations All Stars and France in 2021 with the Tigers’ number nine making appearances in both fixtures.
“Ahead of the 2022 season, McShane had the honour of being appointed captain of the club, a position he carries with great pride.
“Following the news of his testimonial being granted, Paul took to his social media to share his delight.
“Recently I have been granted a 12-month testimonial by the RFL for 2024 season. In 2024 I will be heading into my 15th season having made my debut in 2009. Having played over 300 career games, combined with coaching my amateur club for 10-plus years, being honoured with a testimonial is something that I am truly grateful for.
“I’d like to thank Craig (SMTMUK), the clubs, players, coaches, sponsors and fans that have helped and supported me throughout my career. Especially everyone involved at Castleford Tigers, without this club I don’t think I’d be the player that I’ve become.
“Also, to my friends and family, I hope I have made you someone to be proud of. I thank you for your support and sacrifices from the age of 6.
“Finally, Vik and the boys. I play rugby because I love our sport, but you three are my reason why. I hope I can continue to make you proud.
“Details for sponsorship opportunities and planned events etc will be posted in the coming weeks.”