With Castleford Tigers continuing to be hit by injuries head coach Daryl Powell has underlined the value of having a player like Jy Hitchcox in his squad.
Hitchcox arrived from Australia on a one-year deal after playing for Featherstone Rovers last year and has done well enough in his early games for Castleford to earn himself a new contract, playing in several positions already.
A new two-year deal was agreed last week after Hitchcox bagged a hat-trick of tries against Huddersfield Giants despite playing with dislocated fingers.
Powell is delighted the player is staying beyond his initial year with Cas.
He told the Express: “When he came he was on a one-year contract and everyone was looking to see how handled Super League and the consistency of it.
“He’s done enough in there to prove that he can handle the level. He will want to keep improving, but he’s been doing well.
“Jy can play in a few positions. He has played a little bit at half-back, it’s not his natural position but he can play there as well as wing and full-back. He’s also played a little bit at hooker in pre-season so he’s shown a lot of value.
“He’s fitted in well to the club and the players like him. They’ve got respect for him out on the field and that’s always good to get that when you come in for your first year.”
Powell said that Hitchcox, who has missed the last two games through injury, could be back in the side for this Sunday’s game against Hull KR.
He said: “Jy struggled through with a few weeks with his hand. It still doesn’t look great in practice, but he’ll probably be available this week.
“He would have played last week if we would have needed him.
“He’s a player we’ll need to check on through the week.”