CASTLEFORD Tigers signing Paul McShane admits it is the “Daryl Effect” that attracted him to Wheldon Road.
The hooker made the surprise switch from Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on the eve of deadline day less than a fortnight ago, initially on loan until the end of the season but having already sorted a two-year deal for 2016 and 2017.
Reigning coach-of-the-year Daryl Powell has a reputation for raising players’ performances and making the most of their ability.
Fellow hooker Scott Moore moved the other way and McShane, 25, explained: “It all happened very quickly. We’d agreed a deal for next season on the Monday and I was due to go training (at Wakefield) on the Wednesday but got called in.
“We decided to make the move now to bring some fresh faces in and boost the squad.
“I was totally committed to Wakefield’s cause whichever situation they ended up in. But the opportunity came to work under Daryl and my manager and myself are big admirers of him.
“To see what Daryl does with the players he gets is good.”
McShane started out with home-town Leeds Rhinos, scoring 14 tries in 63 games and winning the World Club Challenge in 2012.
However, most of those appearances came off the bench and it is only with Wakefield over the last two years he has established himself as a starting No 9.
“The game-time there was a lot better,” he said.
“I don’t think I’d kick on as much as I wanted to but I thank the club for that time on the field.
“I hardly missed any games in two seasons which is good for a kid joining who’d just been getting 20 or 30-minute stints before.
“I think I’ve got more game-awareness now and hopefully can bring that to Castleford.”
Whereas his former employers begin their bid for Super League survival in the qualifiers this weekend, McShane is set to debut against Hull FC seeking to fire Castleford into the top four.
They are two-points behind fourth-placed Huddersfield Giants as the Super 8s start and bitterly disappointed after a 44-6 home defeat to Warrington in their last regular round.
“If we’d have got that result it would have made the job a bit easier but you can’t ever write Castleford off,” said McShane.
“They’ve had some great results this year so if we can play to our capabilities we’ve every chance of being top four and challenging for a Grand Final.
“I played with Hull myself in 2010 – on loan when I was a baby – and they do tend to travel well to Cas but it’ll be nice to put on a show for the fans after what happened against Warrington.”
McShane will challenge Castleford’s home-grown hooker Adam Milner for a starting berth and is up against Hull’s Danny Houghton on Friday.
“Danny’s one of those 80 minutes players of non-stop running, tackling, everything,” he said.
“He’s a great player and a bit unfortunate not to be in the international fold with England.
“Adam’s a very good player, too, one who does stuff people don’t really notice, a real hard grafter.”
Hull FC have signed Tonga winger Mahe Fonua from Melbourne Storm on a three-year deal starting from 2016.