Matterson stays at Castleford in bid to restore elite status

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Terry Matterson is staying on to coach Castleford next season, despite their relegation from the Super League.

The Australian had indicated that he would be leaving when the Tigers' fate was sealed almost two weeks ago, but has had second thoughts after talks with the club.

"After the disappointment of relegation he has understandably given his situation a great deal of thought, but he has now committed himself to the club and we are delighted that he is staying," said the Castleford chief executive, Richard Wright.

"Relegation was a real blow and it took some coming to terms with," said Matterson. "There is still the hope that Whitehaven might provide us with a lifeline [by winning the National League One Grand Final next month and being denied promotion because their ground does not reach Super League standards], but we are now moving ahead with plans for next season.

"Obviously, we will lose quite a few of our players," he added, "but I'm confident that we will put a squad together that will take us back into the top flight." The Tigers' full-back, Michael Platt, could be the first to leave, with Huddersfield leading the bidding.

The Leeds chief executive, Gary Hetherington, has dismissed suggestions that their poor season could cost Tony Smith his job. "He will be coach next season," Hetherington said.

The Widnes captain, Terry O'Connor, is struggling to recover from a calf injury to play against Whitehaven on Sunday to decide who faces Hull KR in the National League One Grand Final.

Steve McNamara, the Bradford coach, has come close to branding Warrington, their opponents in the Super League elimination play-off game on Saturday, as a one-man team.

"If you took any one player from any other team, they would cope far better than Warrington do without Lee Briers," said McNamara, who expects to have Jamie Langley back after a groin injury.

Chris Thorman, the Huddersfield half-back who captained England against France and New Zealand last year, has pulled out of the Federation Shield in order to rest. The Catalans Dragons' scrum-half, Stacey Jones, has been named in New Zealand's squad for the Tri-Nations.