Clarkson eyes longer stay at Tigers after signing deal

FORMER LEEDS Rhinos forward Chris Clarkson has signed for Castleford Tigers until the end of the 2019 campaign.

Chris Clarkson

The 28-year-old had been training with Tigers as a trialist for the past six weeks after being released by Hull KR. Clarkson, who made 100 Super League appearances for Rhinos from 2010-2014 and has also played in the top-flight for Widnes Vikings, said: “I’m obviously very pleased to sign with the Tigers.

“It has been a rough four or five months since leaving Hull KR, but I’m very grateful to Cas for bringing me in and giving me this opportunity.”

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He admitted: “There was a point late last year I didn’t think I’d be playing rugby league anymore. I love the game and coming to training with the lads has really confirmed to me that this is what I want to be doing.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here so far and I’ve tried to keep it to what I’d normally do and how I’d normally train, which I’d like to think is to a good standard anyway. I thought I would impress that way, but it’s a great group and all of the lads and coaching staff have made it easy for me settling in. I’m familiar with all of the structures and stuff now and I’m ready if and when I’m needed by Daryl [Powell, Tigers’ coach].”

The former England Knights’ man added: “I’ve been training in the back-row and in the middle and I feel like I’ve got a good understanding of our plays and how the team clicks, but there’s still a bit to do in getting used to all the little details.

“I’m excited about that all coming together, but I’m more relieved than anything. I know where my future is for now and the next goal is to earn something else on the back of that. I don’t see myself as a player that jumps from club to club, I see myself wanting to be here long-term so it’s a platform now to go out and earn that.”

Tigers’ director of rugby Jon Wells confirmed: “The coaching team have seen potential in Chris to be a real asset to this club and with that in mind we are pleased he has signed a deal. He is a proven Super League player who gives us competition for places right across the middle and importantly he is a good person who has handled an uncertain period in his career with equal parts humility and a determination to improve and contribute to this team.”