Castleford Tigers’ head coach Daryl Powell believes exciting full-back Greg Eden will fulfil his “rich potential” after agreeing to join the club from Brisbane Broncos next season.
Eden, 25, has signed a two-year deal at Wheldon Road.
He played four games for hometown Castleford in 2011 having emerged through the club’s academy, but made his mark the following year after joining Huddersfield.
Giants coach Nathan Brown said he could be the “next Billy Slater” and you could understand why with his pace, trickery and flashes of brilliance at No 1.
However, Eden was also frustratingly inconsistent, the odd glaring error hampering his progress, and was moved on to Hull KR after Brown’s own departure. There he scored 24 tries in 39 appearances.
But, after a loan move to Salford Red Devils, he was allowed a release from the final year of his contract to move to Australia in 2015.
Eden spent the entire 2015 season in the Broncos’ feeder team Wynuum Manly but, from the wing, made an impression for Brisbane when he scored a 90m try against Wigan Warriors in the World Club Challenge earlier this year.
Powell – fined £500 for his recent comments about referee Ben Thaler – has been seeking a replacement for Luke Dorn, the experienced Australian full-back who confirmed last month he will retire at the end of the season.
Although not as creative as the current incumbent, livewire Eden certainly fits the Castleford tradition for flair.
“I’m delighted we’ve signed Greg for the next two years,” he said. “His athletic ability is exceptional which is key in order to play at full-back in our team.
“I have been impressed with his development since he went to Australia and am looking forward to seeing him achieve his rich potential with us over the coming years.”
Eden made his NRL debut in the win at Parramatta in March and has played fives time since, including last weekend’s victory over Canberra Raiders, scoring two tries.
He admitted: “Coming back to the UK was a massive decision for me to make.
“But there’s no better team for me to return home to than Castleford, my hometown club and the team I grew up supporting.
“I’m really looking forward to the new challenge ahead.”