McShane enjoys his different role for Castleford

Paul McShane in action for Castleford Tigers against Salford. Picture: Andy May
Paul McShane in action for Castleford Tigers against Salford. Picture: Andy May

Man of the match Paul McShane has modestly played down the praise coming his way for his outstanding display against Salford, but admitted he enjoyed his new role for the team at half-back.

McShane scored a try, had a hand in several others and kicked four goals after standing in for the injured Luke Gale in the number seven role.

He said: “I found out on Thursday that I might be playing there. I did the last set of the session on the Thursday and then the team run Friday.

“I enjoyed it. It was something different and I think every player in a rugby side wants to be a half and get their hands on the ball.

“As a kid up to 16 I was a half-back but as soon as I went into the (Rhinos) Foundation I was changed to hooker. I think I maybe made one start for Leeds at seven in 2010, but I can’t remember any others.

“We had a pretty simple game plan to stick by, but more than anything our defence really won it for us against Salford. It was just a massive game for us. We want to do well in the cup and to get a result like that, with some key players missing, was great.”

McShane will return to his role at hooker at Leeds if Gale recovers, but would be happy to stay at scrum-half.

He said: “Hopefully Galey will be back, but as long as I’m in that 17 and playing I’m happy to do whatever job’s needed.

“I’ll take a bit of confidence from that if I’m called up to do it again at Headingley, but Galey is a massive player for us and it’d be a huge benefit to us if he is fit.

“He’s a great player and, for me, he’s probably the best half-back in England at the moment. To have him back would be a huge boost.”

McShane reckons Cas can push on in the next few weeks.

He added: “It’s been up and down with personnel missing but we’re not in a bad place.

“Hopefully there’ll be players coming back soon and that’s only going to strengthen our squad. At times this year we’ve been down to our last 18 men, but the fact we’re still in the top eight is credit to the people who have come in, the so-called ‘fringe’ players who have done great.”