Promising youngster Jacques O’Neill has become the latest Cumbrian-born player to commit his future to Castleford Tigers.
O’Neill, 16, has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal that will start in September.
He is a product of the Askam amateur rugby league set up in Cumbria and has been training with the Tigers under 16s team for the past year.
Jacques will now step up to the under 19s team, but will also benefit from full-time training with the Castleford first team squad, having chosen the club despite interest from others.
He made his England debut back in April this year playing international Rugby League against France under 16s, claiming the number nine jersey in both fixtures and a man of the match accolade.
The deal will see O’Neill leave his family home and move to West Yorkshire. It’s a big move but one Jacques is relishing.
He said: “I’m so excited to sign for Cas. I can’t wait to move down here and get stuck into training full-time.
“I’ve been made to feel at home here at Cas from day one. My heart is here with the Tigers and I just can’t wait to start the next chapter of my career.”
Tigers head of youth Pete Riding is thrilled to have Jacques at the club.
He said: “I’m delighted Jacques has decided to stay with us here at Cas.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing him develop. He has a lot of hard work ahead of him now to fulfil his potential.”
Jacques O’Neill joins team-mates Luis Johnson, Corey Southern and Harry Hirst who all agreed two-and-a-half-year deals recently, moving up from the under 16s to the under 19s set up.