Hardaker’s move to Castleford confirmed

Zak Hardaker
Zak Hardaker

Castleford Tigers have confirmed the signing of Zak Hardaker from Leeds Rhinos - but he will join on loan initially for the 2017 season.

The 2015 Man of Steel will be at Castleford for the full season with no recall provision and will be free to play against Leeds when the two sides meet. Castleford then have the option to complete a full transfer from November 2017 for an undisclosed transfer fee already agreed by both clubs.

Hardaker, 25, remains contracted to Leeds Rhinos to the end of the 2019 season.

He signed for the Rhinos in 2011 from Featherstone Rovers and has made 155 appearances, scoring 67 tries and 45 goals.

The Pontefract-born full-back spent the latter part of the 2016 season on loan at NRL side Penrith Panthers, where he made 11 appearances.

Tigers head coach Daryl Powell said: “I am delighted that Zak has decided to sign for the Tigers.

“Two years ago he was the Man Of Steel and there is no doubt he is an outstanding Rugby League player.

“His flexibility in playing a number of positions in the backline will clearly enhance what is already a very talented squad and add quality competition.

“I have worked with Zak in the past and look forward to seeing him enhance his own reputation as a Rugby League Player and get back into the England team as a Castleford Tigers player.”

Commenting on the arrangement, Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “I would like thank Steve Gill and the Castleford Tigers for how they worked with us on this arrangement. Zak leaves us this season with our best wishes.”