Sidelined Chase eager to get started at new home Salford

DEPARTING Castleford Tigers star Rangi Chase will be relishing the chance for England action more than most today given just how long he has had to wait for it.

The stand-off has been in training for the World Cup since his final game for the West Yorkshire club at the start of September.

While the majority of the England squad then had the Super League play-offs to contend with, Chase was left to start thinking about the tournament ahead.

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He plays against Italy in their warm-up fixture at Salford this afternoon, the ground which will be home to him next season.

“I’m really itching for the game as playing for Castleford we didn’t make the semi-finals so I’ve been training a few weeks now,” said Chase.

“I’ve been doing some intense training sessions, so I’m feeling very fit and looking forward to a match. It has been a while, I’m feeling very fresh and I can’t wait to run out at Salford, my new home team.

“I’m going to be there for four years so it’s going to be an honour and a privilege to play there.”

Chase, who proved such an attacking force during his five years at Castleford, will link once more with Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield as they look to develop their half-back partnership. Coach Steve McNamara has put his faith in that duo to provide the necessary creativity, kicking game and organisational quality to England’s game in the weeks ahead and Chase feels the squad as a whole is primed to end their 41-year wait for glory.

“I think we’ve a very good chance of winning the World Cup,” added Chase.

“We’ve got the talent right across the board. There’s no reason why we can’t lift it.

“I believe everyone in this team believes we can win this. If we work hard towards it and play to our potential, it’s very possible.

“Hopefully we can put in a good performance against Italy and then look towards Australia.

“They are the benchmark but it’s important to beat everyone.”

World Cup organisers, meanwhile, yesterday received a welcome fillip with news England’s game against Ireland at Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium in a fortnight has already sold out.

There will be a 24,000 capacity crowd for the group game and, with more than 60,000 tickets sold for the Old Trafford final, officials confidently predict it will be the best-attended World Cup yet.

Hull FC loose forward Joe Westerman has signed a new two-year deal to extend his stay until 2016.

Wigan Warriors have signed London Broncos’ Dan Sarginson – who features at stand-off for England Knights against Samoa today – and paid a fee to secure his club colleague Tony Clubb, the former England centre.

The RFL last night confirmed the future of the Northern Rail Cup is under discussion.

The sponsors will not be renewing their deal for 2014 and its place in the league calendar is now under threat.

Blake Solly, the RFL’s director of standards and licensing, said: “2014 is in many ways a transitional period for the Kingstone Press Championships and with Northern Rail’s contract having come to an end this year, we are considering the Cup’s place next season.

“This situation was discussed at the last Championships club meeting and it is possible that its omission for one year may allow a smoother transition into a new format from 2015.”