Castleford Tigers have overcome a difficult 2023 season but with a new coach in place for 2024 things are looking up and the Fords are now exploring a new dual registration opportunity with Championship side Batley Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs of course are the side from which current Tigers Head Coach, Craig Lingard, spent his entire professional career to date, with Lingard joining on at the Jungle midway through the 2023 season as an assistant with a view to transition full time into the role in 2024.
With the sacking of Andy Last the goalposts changes on that one and Lingard now finds himself in charge at Wheldon Road, something that was confirmed on Tuesday (17th).
He’ll lead the Tigers as head coach into 2024 with former Hull KR assistant Danny McGuire as his assistant, the club trying to improve on their lowly 11th placed finish in 2023.
To do so they’ve made a number of signings and the latest one is a familiar face to Lingard with the signing of prop forward Samy Kibula from Batley Bulldogs on a 1 year deal, with an option of a further year.
Further to the signing the club have also confirmed that a possible dual registration deal between the two teas could arise for the upcoming season.
This was confirmed as part of Kibula’s transfer, with the club releasing the following statement to confirm the news.
“Castleford Tigers are pleased to announce the signing of prop forward Samy Kibula from Batley Bulldogs on a 1 year deal, with an option of a further year.
“Alongside this, the Fords will be exploring a possible dual reg agreement with the Bulldogs for 2024, however this is not yet confirmed.”
It’s unclear when a new update will be provided on the possibility of a dual registration deal but it’s something that clubs, both in Super League and in the Championship, have used to their advantage for a number of years.
Given Lingard’s immensely close connection to the Bulldogs it’s a partnership that would make sense if it comes through.
With the signing of Kibula the Tigers recruitment for 2024 has seen them bring in a whole host of names, both from overseas and from within the domestic leagues too.
Both Rowan Milnes and Sam Wood have joined from Hull KR alongside new assistant Danny McGuire whilst Nixon Putt and Sylvester Namo, the PNG pair, join from down under.