Leeds Rhinos have confirmed the signing of Castleford halfback Luke Gale on a … deal from 2020 for an undisclosed fee.
The 31-year-old will return to the club he supported as a boy for the first time since he was an academy graduate in 2006, where he played alongside would-be future stars including Lee Smith, Ryan Hall and Luke Burgess.
Gale hasn’t played a competitive game for over a year after suffering three serious injuries in the past 18 months, including a fractured kneecap and a ruptured achilles.
He will now look to complete his comeback with the Rhinos, however, who are counting on Gale to lead them back to the Super League top five.
He adds plenty of experience to the Rhinos’ side, having accumulated over 1800 points in his 280-game career.
As well as the Tigers, Gale has had successful spells with Bradford, Harlequins and Doncaster, and has picked up nine caps for England.
He becomes the Rhinos’ second new signing ahead of 2020, joining Huddersfield forward Alex Mellor in making the move to Emerald Headingley.
Medical done ☑️
Press conference coming up at 12 noon ? pic.twitter.com/WyVLrH5h84
— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) October 1, 2019
“I am delighted to be joining my home town club and very much looking forward to the next three years,” he said. “I would like to say a massive thank you to Castleford Tigers for my five years at the club.
“Whilst the past two years have been frustrating due to injury, I will leave the club with many fond memories and lots of lifelong friendships. I would like to thank the Castleford Board of Directors, the coaching staff, the fans and my team mates for the support they have given me, in particular our physio Matty Crowther who has gone above and beyond in recent years to get me back to full fitness.
“I am looking forward to the challenge of joining the Rhinos. Throughout my career, I have never been afraid to test myself and that challenge has always brought the best out of me. I am looking forward to pulling on the Rhinos shirt and cannot wait for next season to get started.”
Leeds’ Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield added: “We are delighted to have secured a world class talent in Luke Gale especially as he already has a close bond to the club. I remember him during his days in the Academy and, having followed the journey of his career, it is great that he is coming back to Emerald Headingley.
“Luke is someone who has shown incredible determination and self belief to succeed, whether that has been the challenges he faced early on his professional career or how he has dealt with injuries in recent years. He will be a great addition to our squad and offer a new direction for the Rhinos in 2020.”