Castleford Tigers have signed prop forward Ryan Bailey on a deal until the end of the season.
The 31-year-old will link up with the first team squad immediately and the club have an option of extending Bailey’s stay at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle for a further two years at the end of this campaign.
Bailey brings with him a wealth of experience, having made over 300 appearances for Leeds Rhinos over 12 years after making his debut aged 18 in 2002. He went on to win six Grand Finals, three World Club Challenges and a Challenge Cup with his hometown club, coupled with a number of Great Britain and England caps.
After leaving Headingley at the end of 2014, Bailey switched to Hull KR, but made just one appearance in a difficult spell before parting ways with the Robins.
Bailey is thrilled to be joining the Tigers and eager to resume his Super League career.
He said: “I’m really excited to be joining Castleford Tigers.
“I’ve been really impressed with the set up here and I’m confident I’ll fit in well at this family club.
“I really like the work Daryl is doing here and I’m looking forward to getting down to business and pushing for a place in the team,
“I want to put my reputation behind me now and start a fresh and I hope the fans here get behind me. Having played here at the Jungle the atmosphere is always immense and I can’t wait to pull on the shirt and get out there.”
Bailey’s signing comes at a time when Castleford are depleted with injuries, with seven first team regulars currently sidelined.
Head coach Daryl Powell was delighted to add such an experienced player to his squad at a crucial time of the season.
He said: “I am delighted to welcome Ryan to the club.
“He is a proven First Utility Super League player, who I am confident we will see the best of.
“Our pack has been very good this season and Ryan will add to our options and provide consistency within our squad. He comes to us motivated and with a point to prove and I look forward to working with him.”
Tigers chief executive Steve Gill also commented on the signing: “I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Ryan and his family to the Castleford Tigers family.
“Being at your home town club for 12 years, as he was at the Rhinos, can mean the transition of moving to another club can take a little while.
“I am confident our fans will help make that transition a speedy one, as we all welcome him and his family to our home.”
Bailey could return to action in Castleford’s next game against Salford Red Devils on Sunday at the AJ Bell Stadium. Tickets are available online from castlefordtigers.com and in person from the Tigers Den club shop.