RICHARD Owen will have a chance to resurrect his career with Wakefield Trinity Wildcats after leaving Castleford Tigers yesterday.
The winger, 24, has signed with their derby rivals until the end of the season and could even make his Trinity debut against his former employers at Magic Weekend on Sunday.
Owen’s departure was perhaps inevitable; he had the prolific Australian Justin Carney and ever-reliable Kirk Dixon in his way at Wheldon Road while the likes of James Clare, Ashley Gibson and Michael Channing all offer cover for the flanks, too.
Yet some will feel his talent has not yet been fully realised and that could be to Wakefield’s benefit.
Pontefract-born Owen debuted for Castleford in 2008 and went on to score 56 tries in 111 Super League games for them.
There is no doubting his finishing prowess, while he has great pace and work ethic but he did badly break his leg against Bradford Bulls in 2010 which slowed his early progress.
Later, there was an off-field indiscretion, too, which did not help his cause and there remains concerns over his concentration levels, something which has let him down in the past.
However, if Trinity coach Richard Agar can help iron out that last issue, and strengthen his defensive decision-making, there is no reason why Owen cannot fulfil his obvious promise.
Securing a regular run of games, something unlikely to have happened at Wheldon Road, will help him do that and Owen admitted: “I did eight years with Castleford and this is a new start and a new challenge.
“I think it’s what I needed and it’ll do me the world of good. It’s a growing club here. They haven’t had the best of starts and are just starting to hit some form. It’s something I want to be part of.”
Owen – who has also featured heavily at full-back – had played in just five of Castelford’s 14 games this season, although his strike rate was impressive again.
He scored six tries including a hat-trick in the win at Hull KR.
However, Owen was left out again after that match, highlighting coach Daryl Powell’s nagging concerns once more.
He trained with Wakefield for the first time yesterday and is expected to be included in their 19-man squad for the trip to Manchester while, clearly, his main aim is to impress Agar enough to secure a longer deal.