Castleford sign crucial deal with Westerma

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The Independent Online

Castleford have insured against having their most prized young asset poached by a bigger club by agreeing a new, four-year contract with Joe Westerman.

The teenaged back-rower has been one of the Tigers’ successes in Super League this season and had been linked with a possible move to Leeds.

But Westerman, who had a year left on his existing deal, says he is happy to stay with his home-town club.

“The club has an exciting future and I want to be a part of it,” he said.

Castleford’s chief executive, Richard Wright, welcomed the player’s decision.

“He’s still only 18 and he has the ability to play for England or Great Britain in the near future,” he said.

Cas have given Dwain Chambers two days off training following his debut against York Reserves and talks on his future are expected tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Leeds have made a signing to bolster their injury-hit squad. They have taken the French international centre or second-rower, Eric Anselme, on loan from Albi.

Anselme, who could make his debut against Bradford at Cardiff on Saturday, will be with the Rhinos until September.

The Catalan Dragons have revealed that Wigan’s Brian Noble and Jon Sharp of Huddersfield are among those who have put theur hats in the ring for the coaching role that will be vacant when Mick Potter moves to St Helens at the end of this season.

Wigan have moved their Challenge Cup tie against Whitehaven from Friday 9 May to the following Monday, in order to protect the JJB pitch for the Wigan-Manchester United game on the Sunday.

Cronulla have emerged as the favourite to sign Trent Barrett, once he gets the release he wants from Wigan.

Australia have named three new caps – the Melbourne full-back, Billy Slater, the Cronulla back-rower, Paul Gallen, and North Queensland’s Carl Webb – in their side to play New Zealand next week.

Warrington’s Jon Clarke and Ricky Bibey of Wakefield are both to face charges of striking with the forearm at today’s League disciplinary hearing. Gareth Hock of Wigan faces a similar charge, plus one of punching.