AMID a hectic few hours yesterday, Castleford Tigers held on to prized asset Rangi Chase but saw Brett Ferres depart for Huddersfield Giants in a surprise move completed just seconds before transfer deadline.
Man of Steel Chase had agreed terms with Hull FC and a six-figure fee was arranged between the clubs but, as suggested in the Yorkshire Post on Wednesday, visa complications eventually scuppered the move.
New legislation that has come into play during the last couple of weeks meant the England stand-off’s switch was off but Hull are intent on completing the deal in time for 2013.
Chase will, therefore, play for Castleford in tomorrow’s game against Warrington Wolves as he returns from a three-game suspension imposed by the club for an alcohol-related issue.
A dazed Ferres will train with new club-mates at Huddersfield this morning in readiness to possibly make his Giants debut against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats tomorrow following some frantic late negotiations.
The talented back-row, who started out at Bradford Bulls before joining home-town Castleford via Wakefield, had long been rumoured to be on his way to the Galpharm Stadium at the end of the season when his contract expired.
But, following Paul Anderson’s early promotion to the Giants head coach role on Monday, an enquiry was made to Castleford about Ferres’s immediate availability.
Tigers accepted a fee for the 26-year-old – who will hope to improve his England ambitions with the move – and the paperwork was completed at the RFL’s Red Hall headquarters shortly before the 2pm cut-off point.
For tomorrow’s game, Chase replaces injured Oliver Holmes in a Castleford squad which is bidding to maintain its impressive home form.
Despite struggling in 12th spot, Ian Millward’s side have proved productive at Wheldon Road, winning three of their previous four, the last of which, ironically, was a huge 52-6 success over Huddersfield.
“We have had back-to-back home wins and out of nine games at home we’ve won five with losses to Bradford and St Helens,” he said.
“Our home form’s pretty strong considering some of the disruptions we’ve had during the year and injuries.
“I’m pleased we’re heading in the right direction at home and I think we’ll do well.
“We’ve trained well and we’re coming off a good win but Warrington are a very good team – I think they are the best in Super League.”
Warrington are hot on the heels of leaders Wigan and are Wembley-bound, having defeated Huddersfield 33-6 in Sunday’s Challenge Cup semi-final.
Coach Tony Smith makes changes with David Solomona, Richie Myler and Matty Blythe replacing Chris Bridge, Garreth Carvell and Trent Waterhouse.