No regrets choosing Castleford Tigers despite Leeds Rhinos interest insists Jake Trueman

NOT even four-times Grand Final winning coach Brian McDermott or the draw of rugby league royalty Adrian Morley could convince Castleford Tigers star Jake Trueman to sign for Leeds Rhinos.

15 March 2020 ..... Castleford Tigers v St Helens. Super League. Tigers Jake Trueman. Picture Tony Johnson

This week marked the third anniversary of the gifted youngster making his Castleford and Super League debut against St Helens in 2017.

In his next appearance, and first start later that season, the half-back scored a first-half hat-trick against Wigan Warriors, marking him down as one of the competition’s brightest young talents.

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Trueman, of course, went on to win Super League’s 2018 Young Player of the Year before debuting for England Nines and touring with Great Britain last autumn.

Signing the 17-year-old when hometown Bradford Bulls went into liquidation in January 2017 certainly proved a masterstroke from Castleford.

Trueman, too, is delighted with how things have progressed but, recalling the pivotal move, he revealed: “There were a few clubs interested.

“I didn’t really come too close to going anywhere else. I went to look around Leeds. I met Brian McDermott at the time.

“There was three of us from Bradford who went with (agent) Craig Harrison to see them at the same time.

“He (McDermott) had a bit of a talk with us and I think Adrian Morley was the Under-19s coach.

“After that I think Leeds did make an offer. But I was pretty much set on Cas’. Huddersfield Giants were there and a couple of others but as soon as I spoke to Cas’ I thought that was probably the right club.

“And it was definitely the right decision. It couldn’t have worked out much better.”

Asked what made him plump for Wheldon Road, Trueman – now 21 – said: “The coaching.

15 March 2020 ..... Castleford Tigers v St Helens. Super League. Tigers head coach Daryl Powell. Picture Tony Johnson

“Powelly had a track record of improving players and they had three half-backs who were the coaches (Daryl Powell, Ryan Sheridan and Danny Orr).

“There was a chance to play as well as they only had a couple of half-backs there at the time so I knew there could be opportunities.

“I can’t wait to start training again with the boys once we can.”

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