Craig Lingard and Danny McGuire plan to follow Hull KR blueprint at Castleford Tigers

Craig Lingard and Danny McGuire will follow Hull KR's blueprint as they get to work on a major rebuilding project at Castleford Tigers.

The Tigers are entering a new era after bidding farewell to almost 20 players since the start of the 2023 season, including club stalwarts Nathan Massey and Greg Eden.

Castleford's recruitment policy has focused on players in their mid-20s who are hungry to establish themselves in Super League.

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The average age of the squad has come down markedly as the Tigers rebuild after dicing with danger on their way to an 11th-place finish.

McGuire sees parallels with the start of his time at Craven Park when Rovers began their transformation from also-rans to contenders for silverware.

"It feels very similar to the early stages at the back end of my playing career at KR," said the 40-year-old, who has joined Lingard at Castleford as an assistant.

"We had a real passionate, loyal fanbase of people that wanted the club to be successful and that marries up with where Castleford are at.

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"It's about making sure you get the right personnel in and people that want to push the club forward, improve and come to compete every week playing-wise with a strong staff behind that to help support them.

Craig Lingard is overseeing a major rebuilding project at Wheldon Road. (Photo: Castleford Tigers)Craig Lingard is overseeing a major rebuilding project at Wheldon Road. (Photo: Castleford Tigers)
Craig Lingard is overseeing a major rebuilding project at Wheldon Road. (Photo: Castleford Tigers)

"It shows that if you stick to a plan and a vision, and create a good environment and culture by getting good people involved, you can develop fairly quickly.

"It's definitely a path I think Cas should follow now."

McGuire will be reunited with former Rovers players Rowan Milnes and Sam Wood at Wheldon Road in a new-look set-up that also features Luke Hooley and Josh Simm.

The ex-Leeds Rhinos half-back has been left convinced that Castleford are willing to play the long game.

Danny McGuire has returned to coaching quickly with Castleford after leaving Hull KR. (Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)Danny McGuire has returned to coaching quickly with Castleford after leaving Hull KR. (Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)
Danny McGuire has returned to coaching quickly with Castleford after leaving Hull KR. (Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix.com)
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"We've got a young squad that are hungry and want to get better," added McGuire.

"The signs are there for improvement over the next few years, without a doubt.

"From speaking to everybody involved in the club, there is a real clear vision now how Cas want to move forward. It's an exciting time to be part of that."

Lingard served a long apprenticeship outside of Super League before joining the Tigers this year, intially as an assistant.

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The 45-year-old can take encouragement from his work on a tight budget at Batley Bulldogs but views Hull KR as the perfect example of what can be achieved in Super League with a long-term approach.

Lingard plans to tap into McGuire's experience at both ends of the competition.

"The awards and trophies he won as a player, he was second to none coming through that golden era at Leeds," said Lingard. "And I think the project we've got here now mirrors the project he had at Hull KR.

"We're looking at bringing these younger players in around the eight or 10 seasoned players we've got to try build something longer term.

"He's had direct experience of that so we can fall back on that and get his help and advice on what the pitfalls were and what the strengths were out of doing that."

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