Castleford team up with Torfaen to tap Welsh market

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The Independent Online

Castleford have underlined the progress of the game in Wales, in the week when the Challenge Cup final will again be played in Cardiff, by forging a formal link with the Torfaen Tigers.

Castleford have underlined the progress of the game in Wales, in the week when the Challenge Cup final will again be played in Cardiff, by forging a formal link with the Torfaen Tigers.

The Pontypool-based club are members of the Welsh Division of the Rugby League Conference and will now get help and support from their Super League partners.

"This isn't just a link on paper or only a case of moral support," said Castleford's junior development manager, Dean Sampson. "There are real prospects of promising Welsh youngsters stepping up to Super League." Reinforcements, from whatever source, cannot arrive quickly enough for Super League's bottom club, who learnt yesterday that they could be without their forward Jamie Thackray for the rest of the season.

Thackray has had an operation on the third break to his right arm in little more than a year and the most optimistic forecast is that he could be back in three months.

Castleford are also waiting for further news on their captain, Ryan Hudson, who was taken off with concussion at Bradford on Sunday. The fear is that Hudson could also have fractured his cheekbone or eye-socket, taking the number of injured first-teamers at The Jungle to 13.

The club's caretaker-coach, Gary Mercer, is still hoping to bring in two players on loan - one of them is Wigan's Luke Robinson - in time for what he describes as Castleford's "grand final", the match on 23 May against Salford, who are next to bottom.

The Huddersfield full-back, Paul Reilly, has been cleared of a suspected broken jaw after taking a blow during the defeat by Hull last Friday.

Wakefield Trinity's New Zealand second-rower, David Solomona, has been suspended for one match after being found guilty of dangerous misconduct in the match against St Helens last Friday. Solomona was put on report for lifting in the tackle. The London Broncos' prop Mitchell Stringer has been given a similar ban for striking an opponent during the defeat by Salford the following day.

Warrington have won an award for the best community scheme in any sport in Britain at the annual Sports Industry Awards.

Great Britain's amateur side have begun the Victory Cup in Moscow by beating the New Zealand Defence Forces 26-12. In the other match on the opening day of the tournament, Ireland beat the US 74-16.

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