Castleford Tigers half-back Danny Richardson on contract situation, comeback and play-off hopes

After guiding Castleford Tigers to four wins in five games since his return from injury, it is little wonder that Danny Richardson is relaxed about his long-term future.

Richardson has produced a series of influential performances in recent weeks to help Castleford cement a place in Super League’s top six.

The half-back nailed a nerveless drop goal to secure a golden-point victory over Catalans Dragons at the end of last month and had a big say in the wins against Huddersfield Giants and Warrington Wolves.

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Richardson, who is in the final few months of the three-year deal he signed when he joined from St Helens, remains unattached for 2023 - but he is making a compelling case for a new contract.

“Nothing has been decided as of yet,” Richardson told The Yorkshire Post.

“There have been conversations, nothing major. The lads know my stance: I love it at Cas and love playing for Radders (Lee Radford). Hopefully we get something sorted soon.

“There’s been no concrete interest or offers from elsewhere. I’m pretty relaxed about it. If I was a young lad coming through at 19 or 20, you’re probably stressing about it.

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“Given the injury I had, I just wanted to get back playing and enjoying myself.

Danny Richardson has been in fine form on his return to the side. (Picture: Richardson has been in fine form on his return to the side. (Picture:
Danny Richardson has been in fine form on his return to the side. (Picture:

“I’m not stressed. I’ve just got to keep enjoying my rugby and if we can keep getting the wins, it will sort itself out.”

The serious neck injury suffered in round one has allowed Richardson to put his contract situation into perspective.

When he was first told about the fracture, the 25-year-old feared he would not be able to live a normal lifestyle.

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But fast forward five months and he is back starring at Super League level.

Danny Richardson slots over a winning drop goal against Catalans Dragons. (Picture: Richardson slots over a winning drop goal against Catalans Dragons. (Picture:
Danny Richardson slots over a winning drop goal against Catalans Dragons. (Picture:

“It’s giving me no issues whatsoever so I’m back to normal,” said Richardson.

“I was fine going in. The physio made sure I was good to go; with the kind of injury it was, you’re better off being on the safer side rather than rushing back.

“Once you get that first contact out of the way, you’ve got full confidence in it then.

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“I’ve got the hunger and excitement back. You’re in a bit of a pickle when you’re injured and not playing - you do miss it.

Danny Richardson carries the ball against Toulouse Olympique. (Picture: Richardson carries the ball against Toulouse Olympique. (Picture:
Danny Richardson carries the ball against Toulouse Olympique. (Picture:

“We’ve managed to get four wins out of five since I came back and you obviously enjoy it more when you’re winning and playing well.”

With Castleford leading the hunt for the remaining play-off places, Richardson had no time to ease himself back in.

He has had extra weight on his shoulders as the only recognised half-back in the absence of Jake Trueman, Gareth O’Brien and Callum McLelland - but Richardson insisted pressure is par for the course in his position.

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“As a half-back, you’re used to that responsibility anyway,” he said.

“We’ve obviously got Macca (Paul McShane) at nine who can look after the middles which is a big help.

“For me, it doesn’t really seem much different.”

Castleford’s form has seen them steal a march on their rivals for a top-six place.

Radford’s men are in fifth spot with eight rounds remaining after defying injury and suspension issues.

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The Tigers have turned a corner since collapsing to defeat against Wigan Warriors in early June, with the Magic Weekend loss to Leeds Rhinos the only blemish since.

Richardson believes Castleford are becoming a side in their coach’s image.

“The year has been a bit up and down with performances, and injuries always happen,” he said.

“We never do it easy. Even since I came back, we’ve had lads sin-binned and sent off at the weekend. With injuries, we lost Niall (Evalds) at half-time (against Warrington) and lost Truey (Trueman) in a game.

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“You never get the perfect game, do you? But we’re just digging in for each other.

“Our wins have been built on the effort areas and having each other’s backs. A lot of that is down to Radders and Lasty (Andy Last) instilling that never-say-die attitude.

“If we can get some lads back and keep that intensity where it needs to be, we’re confident we can definitely cement a spot in the play-offs.”

Castleford are now only four points behind fourth-placed Catalans Dragons, raising the possibility of a top-four spot and home advantage in the play-offs.

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After winning eight of their 10 games at Wheldon Road so far this year, the Tigers would relish the chance to begin a play-off campaign on home soil.

“You’d like to have a home semi,” said Richardson. “It’s definitely an aim to get in that top four if we can and get that home semi-final.”

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