Castleford Tigers’ teenage forward Conor Fitzsimmons is set to join Workington Town on loan for the 2017 season.
The 18-year-old made his first team debut for the Tigers last season, coming off of the bench against St Helens at the Jungle and he has been a regular in the Castleford under 19s side for the past two years and earned a place in England’s Academy side for their recent tour of Australia.
The move to Workington Town will see the young forward gain more valuable first team experience and he will link up with Dave Clark who coached Fitzsimmons during his time at the Cumbria RFL Academy.
Town coach Dave Clark said: “I’m really excited to sign Conor.
“He is a model rugby league player who trains hard and looks after himself, as well as being a strong, direct runner is a very skilful rugby league player.
“When I had one of my regular chats with Pete Riding (Castleford Tigers head of youth) it became apparent Cas were looking to his further development through regular professional rugby and I jumped at the chance.
“I recently toured with the England Academy in Australia so I know exactly what attributes he can bring to Town next year. Not only will he stand out as a talented player in his own right, he will help with our young development players because he has spent last season in a Super League environment.
“He was always a joy to coach and I look forward to working with him again.”
Fitzsimmons is excited to have the chance to play regular first team rugby for a team he knows well.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to working with Dave Clark again. He has very high expectations and my game improved steadily when he was my coach at the Academy.
“This year will be a great way to get regular game time in a very competitive league. I’m particularly looking forward to playing in the Workington - Whitehaven derby as I’ve watched so many from the terraces. Playing for my home town team will be a great honour and I can’t wait to join up with Jason Mossop who was my coach and teacher at school.”
Pete Riding said: “This is a great opportunity for Conor. It’s a perfect fit for him at this stage in his development to play first team rugby on a consistent basis.
“Dave Clark is a very good coach and the environment that he is creating at Workington is one we believe Conor will thrive in. He will complete his pre-season with us here at Castleford and then join up with Workington from February 1.”