CASTLEFORD star Rangi Chase (pictured) has confirmed that he will not be joining Hull but he believes the Tigers are happy for him to return to his old Australian club St George Illawarra.
Speculation has surrounded the 26-year-old England half-back, who was Super League Man of Steel in 2011, ever since he was suspended by the Tigers in June for breaching club rules on drinking alcohol before a match.
Speaking publicly for the first time about the incident on the eve of England’s departure for their high-altitude training camp in South Africa, Chase criticised Castleford’s handling of the matter and revealed that his future is as uncertain as ever.
A proposed move to Hull in the summer fell through due to visa difficulties but New Zealand-born Chase, who caused a stir 12 months ago when he switched his allegiance to England, says there is no guarantee he will still be with Castleford next season.
“I was looking at going to Hull but it didn’t work out,” he said. “I wanted to go and Cas wanted me to go as well.
“There is still interest from St George and, if a deal comes, it’s a bonus because obviously there is better money over there. I’ve got a young family now so I’ve got to do what’s best for them.
“If the right deal doesn’t come, I’m quite happy to be at Cas. We didn’t have a good year but I know we can turn things around. It’s a win-win situation for me.
“It’s a weird situation. I think Cas are happy for me to go. It’s made to look like I want out of the club but I don’t.
“I don’t want to say they are trying to force me out but there is stuff happening there that not everyone is aware of. I don’t know if they’ve got money issues.”
Chase, who joined Castleford from St George in 2009, still has three years left on his contract and the Tigers would be entitled to a transfer fee for him.
Meanwhile, Chase described his drinking incident as “my little misdemeanour” but says the club’s initial inaction followed by their failure to take decisive action added to his grief.
“It didn’t get dealt with as professionally as I think it should have done,” he said.
“A lot of rumours circulated and it got worse and worse. What actually happened was bad enough but fuel was put onto the fire because it wasn’t dealt with straight away.
“People were saying I’d been arrested and silly stuff like that. I had already let everyone down but people painted a picture of me that wasn’t true and that hurt the most.
“It came to a point where I thought I was going to lose my job at Cas because they were pretty serious about the situation. That’s when an opportunity came up and I had to get my plan B.”