Super League club confirm two shock signings

As clubs like Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors and Hull KR confirm signings for 2024, the likes of Warrington Wolves and Wakefield Trinity have confirmed immediate signings lately as have the Robins whilst clubs like Castleford Tigers and Leigh Leopards have also been linked with immediate signings.

Cas were shockingly linked with former England international and NRL star George Burgess to no avail as well as the son of Leeds, St Helens and Wigan star Kevin Iro, World Cup star Kayal Iro of the Cook Islands from Cronulla Sharks.

Those have not come off but the Tigers have now made their move in the midst of their relegation battle.

Castleford Tigers have announced the loan signings of Billy Tsikrikas and Alex Foster on loan until the end of the 2023 Super League season.

Greek international Tsikrikas has spent his entire career up to date in his native Australia, starting out with the Penrith Panthers representing their New South Wales Cup side on numerous occasions between 2019 and 2021.

A move to the Canterbury Bulldogs followed the following year, making his NRL debut against Brisbane Broncos in Round 7 of the 2022 season.

The imposing prop resigned for the Bulldogs ahead of this term and will now make the switch to Super League with the Tigers for the remainder of the campaign.

On linking up with his new club, Billy put forward his delight at the opportunity to play Super League rugby.

“I’m very excited to be given an opportunity with the Tigers and to get to experience Super League.”

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity and challenges ahead and to do my part in finishing the season strongly.”

Cas Head Coach Last spoke highly of his new recruit ahead of the prop touching down from Australia.

“Billy has been playing for the Bulldogs NSW team and playing big minutes due to the big engine he has. I spoke with Mark O’Meley a former front rower who I coached and has been coaching Billy who spoke highly of him regards his attitude and his effort areas during games. Billy has an opportunity to show us what he is capable of during these latter stages of the season.”

Foster will join up with the Tigers for his second spell at Wheldon Road after featuring 62 times including in the 2021 Challenge Cup Semi-Final victory over Warrington, the Final against St Helens and in the 2017 Super League Grand Final against Leeds, in which he scored.

After departing the Tigers at the conclusion of the 2021 campaign, Foster joined Newcastle Thunder and was appointed captain at the beginning of this year. Since joining the Northeast outfit, Foster has played in 27 games, scoring 6 tries.

The 29-year-old was known for putting his body on the line during his maiden stint at the Fords where he displayed his adaptability by playing both in the centres and at second-row.

On returning to Wheldon Road, Alex expressed his happiness in signing for the Tigers for the remainder of the season.

“It’s fantastic that I have the opportunity to come back and represent this great club again. The club means a lot to me because I feel that my time here was the making of me and my career.

“I have a lot of special memories with everyone involved with the club so it’s great to be able to come back and be a part of the Tigers family.

“I’ll always be thankful for Cas giving me the opportunity the first time around. I feel privileged and honoured to be here for a second time and give my all for this great club.”

Foster made the move to Thunder and Tyneside in 2022, and his performances were rewarded by the second-rower being named captain in February.

Touching on this, Cas’ new addition spoke of how his leadership qualities and adaptability on the field will be of benefit to the Fords for the remainder of the season.

“Leadership was probably not something that came naturally to me. Newcastle challenged me to take on the role of captain and it’s definitely been beneficial for my own development.

“I am more of a mature, senior player who is able to make those leadership calls. I am ready to accept the challenge and hopefully have a really positive impact.

“Lasty said that my adaptability and versatility will be a big strength to have at this point in the season. I am more than happy to come in and play a role wherever I need to be.”

In closing, Alex gave mention to the Fords faithful and outlined how much he is relishing the chance to run out at The Jungle once more.

“They are the best supporters in the league. I’ve certainly missed them, and I look forward to wearing the Cas jersey in front of all of them again.”

Head coach of the Tigers, Andy Last, is glad to have Alex back on board at Cas and is excited to see what he can add to the current playing squad.

“Alex is a player with good experience of Super League and Castleford Tigers and represented this club with great distinction in his first stint here. We needed someone who is versatile and competitive whether that be playing in the second-row, centre or middle and ‘Fozzy’ fitted that remit perfectly. He’s a team-first player and a strong character which are all qualities I was looking for as we attack the latter stages of the season. After speaking with him he can’t wait to get started and work hard to take this opportunity.”