Castleford pin hopes for future on new ground

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Castleford have moved a step closer to a new ground by submitting a planning application for a 13,000 capacity stadium next to the M62.

The Tigers were relegated last season but want to leave Wheldon Road, their home since 1919, because they fear that it will not meet Super League criteria when, and if, a franchise system is introduced in 2009.

Hull and Warrington have made successful moves to new grounds over the last three years, while Salford have permission for a new state-of-the-art facility at Barton.

Castleford's plans are part of a redevelopment of the old Glasshoughton Colliery site that will also include an office park and a hotel and they will now go before Wakefield Council.

The borough's one Super League club next season, Wakefield Trinity, also have ambitions of a new home, which could complicate the decision-making process.

"Although we still have a great deal of work to do to turn the dreams into reality, all parties involved are committed to making it happen," said Castleford's chief executive, Richard Wright.

Willie Poching is to play one last game for Leeds, despite announcing his retirement to join the club's coaching staff. The Kiwi veteran has had a knee replacement, but has been back in training to lead the Rhinos against former club Wakefield on Boxing Day.

Huddersfield have promoted 18-year-old Academy full-back, Leroy Cudjoe, to their Super League squad for next season. Cudjoe will act as back-up for the long-serving Paul Reilly.

Darren Fisher, who played for Batley this year, has been banned for two years after failing a drugs test. The 23-year-old prop provided a sample showing the presence of both the banned steroid nandrolone and stimulant ephedrine.