Castleford Tigers have confirmed that West Yorkshire lad Ryan Hampshire has joined the club on a season long loan from Wigan Warriors.
Hampshire will compete for a place in the Tigers team at full-back or half-back, but with his club rating him highly as a top young prospect they are only prepared to let him move on a loan basis.
The agreement includes an emergency clause allowing Wigan to recall Hampshire in the event of a significant injury to one of the Warriors half-backs or full-backs. As part of this clause the player will return to Castleford when the injured player returns to fitness.
Normanton-born Hampshire joined the Warriors at 16 from amateur club Normanton Knights before signing a full time deal in 2012. He has developed at Wigan in to one of the best young prospects in Super League.
He made his debut for Wigan in 2013 coming off of the bench against Widnes Vikings and has gone on to play 25 games in the Super League for the Warriors.
Over the last few years, ‘Rocky’ Hampshire has played both full-back and half-back for Wigan, but in 2015 he found opportunities hard to come by with the form of Matty Bowen, George Williams and Matty Smith.
Hampshire has signed a three year extension with the Warriors but will spend the entirety of 2016 at Castleford.
He cannot wait to get going for the Tigers:
“I’m delighted to be spending 2016 back in West Yorkshire with the Tigers and being around my family and friends a lot more.
“The chance to work under Daryl and play regular first team rugby is really exciting.
“I’m looking forward to meeting up with my new team-mates and being in a new environment.”
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell is excited to have a player like Hampshire at the club.
He said: “I am delighted Ryan has agreed to join us, in what is a crucial year in the team’s further development.
“He will provide great competition at half-back and full-back. His speed and elusive qualities will really add to our teams attacking threats.”
Chief executive Steve Gill is pleased that Hampshire will spend next year with the Tigers.
He added: “Ryan will be a great acquisition to our squad for next year, he is a very talented player who will add some real depth in key pivotal roles within the team. I would like to thank Wigan for allowing Ryan join us on loan.”