AUSTRALIAN centre or back-rower James Grehan has joined Castleford Tigers on a one-year contract.
The 23-year-old former St George junior and Parramatta Eels squad member - pictured with Tigers coach Ian Millward - has been recommended to the club by former Castleford forward Dale Fritz, strength and conditioning coach at Western Suburbs.
Grehan is the current county player of the year - the highest individual accolade for players in Australia outside the NRL.
He won the man of the match award in Western Suburbs’ Illawarra League Grand Final victory in September and has since played in the French domestic competition for Limoux.
He said: “I’m looking to earn a two-year deal and settle down over here. Both my parents are English and I’ve always wanted to come and play here.
“This is a big opportunity for me and I intend to make the most of it.”
Tigers boss Ian Millward said: “Centre is an area where we are short in numbers and we needed depth in this position before the season started.
“Jimmy runs very good lines in attack and has good mobility in defence. He is more of a second row who can play centre but we believe we might have unearthed someone on an incentive-based contract in Jimmy who we might want to tie down if things work out as a second row in the longer term. In the short term he will be useful in that he can do a good job for us in the centres.
“Dale Fritz contacted us through Danny Orr and said we needed to have a look at him. He’s been coached for the last two years by Paul McGregor, a former State of Origin centre in the 1990s, who I know well and he says that Jimmy has a great attitude and a great work rate.
“He passed his medical this morning. He’s in good shape, very athletic and defensively he brings some good qualities. With the team averaging 30 points a game last season, it was a case of asking ourselves whether we feel he can help improve our defence. We feel he can and that is why we have signed him.”
Grehan began training with his new team-mates this afternoon (Monday) and may be considered for Sunday’s under 20s friendly at York.