Castleford's exit door opens wide as Tony joins Hull

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The Independent Online

The exodus from relegated Castleford has begun with Hull's announcement that they have signed Motu Tony on a two-year contract. The New Zealand international was a mid-season signing for Castleford but played only nine times before succumbing to a knee injury.

The exodus from relegated Castleford has begun with Hull's announcement that they have signed Motu Tony on a two-year contract. The New Zealand international was a mid-season signing for Castleford but played only nine times before succumbing to a knee injury.

"One of the most appealing things about Motu is his versatility," said Hull's incoming coach, John Kear. "He covers every position in the backline and can also play hooker."

Hull are also expected to confirm the signing of the Castleford forward, Jamie Thackray, this week and a number of other Tigers players are earmarked to move elsewhere.

The oldest player in Super League, Brad Davis, says, however, that he wants to stay at the club in some capacity. One of his other options could be receding with the news that Villeneuve, the French club from whom he was on loan to Castleford, have gone into voluntary liquidation.

A number of major sponsors have declared that they will stick with Castleford next season, which the club hopes will enable them to argue successfully for a higher salary cap.

The Rugby League's executive chairman, Richard Lewis, said yesterday that Castleford would qualify for a ceiling of £400,000 rather than £300,000 if they can demonstrate that they have sufficient income.

Widnes, who narrowly avoided the drop, are set to announce a major new backer to help finance the team strengthening which is needed for next season.

They are also waiting for a decision from Frank Endacott, whose stint as coaching advisor was important in guiding them to safety, on whether he will pursue a permanent role with them next season.

Wakefield have doubts over two of their first-choice backs for their first-ever appearance in the play-offs at Hull on Friday. Semi Tadulala has a hamstring strain, whilst Ben Jeffries has damaged his ankle.

On top of that, David Wrench is still in hospital with blood poisoning, but Jamie Rooney could be fit to return after a six-week absence with knee trouble.

Brisbane's former Leeds centre or loose forward, Tonie Carroll, could become the first player for 90 years to play for Australia as well as New Zealand after being named in Australia's squad for the Tri-Nations in Britain this autumn. His last international appearance was for the Kiwis in the World Cup final in 2000.

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