Castleford Tigers’ ‘good people’ have come to the fore during the lockdown

ONE THing Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell looks for when signing players is that they are “good people” off the pitch as well as on it.

Picture by Chris Mangnall/ - 01/02/2019 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League - Castleford Tigers v Catalans Dragons - the Mend A Hose Jungle, Castleford, England - Castlefords Alex Foster

Castleford are charity partners with the Prince of Wales Hospice and there is plenty of evidence to suggest Powell has plenty of great characters in his squad.

Forward Nathan Massey recently cycled for 158 miles on a watt bike in his garage to raise money for Prince of Wales charity. Alex Foster also cut his hair to raise money for the hospice while the entire Castleford squad and coaching staff tackled the Yorkshire Three Peaks during pre-season to raise funds for the Pontefract-based charity.

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Peter Mata’utia regularly volunteers at foodbanks and Powell said: “One of the things you look for when signing players is good people and people who do the right sort of things.

“We have got loads of those in our squad.

“Peter Mata’utia is at foodbanks all the time and we have got a lot of players who do work with different charities.

“Our experienced boys have been in touch with our younger players during the lockdown.

“We have got some special people and special players and it is great to see those sort of things.

“There is a special culture and camaraderie at the club.”

He added: “We have stayed pretty close all the way through the suspension with different Zoom calls and we have tried to have some fun as well.

“We changed the training programme this week, escalating it a bit to try and get back to some rugby-specific movements.”

Meanwhile, Powell believes there are some positive signs for the Tigers if the Super League season is able to resume.

Castleford beat St Helens in the final league fixture before the sport was suspended in mid-March.

All 12 Super League clubs are keen to see the season resume in the summer and see fans return to stadiums as soon as it is safe.

The Tigers are joint-top of the table, only behind Wigan Warriors on points difference, and Powell hopes to see his side replicate their success from 2017, when they won the League Leaders’ Shield and reached the Grand Final at Old Trafford before losing out to Leeds Rhinos.

“We want to be there this year but who knows what it is going to look like,” said Powell.

“We showed against St Helens just before we finished that we have got something going for us.

“The players are tuned in with enjoying that they are doing and we look a really good team this year.

“The signs are there for us.”

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