Castleford Tigers half back Luke Gale has signed a new five-year contract that will keep him at the club until at least the end of 2021.
It ends speculation that the 27-year-old could leave the Tigers to join another Super League club.
Gale, who was already under contract at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle until the end of next season, has been rewarded by Castleford for his oustanding form which has earned rave reviews from coaches, the media and fans.
“I’m delighted to have signed my new deal with Castleford Tigers and it’s great to be able to put all the rumours to bed,” said Gale.
“I love what Daryl (Powell) and Steve (Gill) are building here. It’s a great club to be part of and I’m excited to see what the future holds for the club in the coming years.
“The fans are amazing and we’ve built a brilliant team here who are hungry for success and to bring silverware back to Castleford. I did have interest from elsewhere but I always wanted to stay here, and I’d like to see out the rest of my career here at Castleford Tigers.”
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell is delighted to secure the long term future of Gale.
“Luke Gale has been outstanding since he signed at Castleford Tigers and I expect him to improve every year he is with us,” said Powell.
“I am delighted that he has signed a contract extension which will keep him at the Tigers for the next five years. I fully expect him to become the next England half back and look forward to him continuing to grow as a person and a player within our environment.”
Tigers chief executive Steve Gill said: “I’m really pleased that Luke has committed to the Tigers until the end of the 2021 season.
“Luke realises what we are trying to build here at the club and definitely wants to be part of it. I would also like to put on record my thanks to our chairman Ian Fulton and our board of birectors for their vision in taking the club forward by moving quickly to make this happen and also thanks to Craig Harrison at SMTM agency for his honesty throughout.”
Gale started his career with Leeds Rhinos before joining National League Two side Doncaster in 2007 and eventually establishing himself as one of the best players in that league, winning the young player of the year award in 2008.
He then moved to Harlequins where he spent three years before moving back north in 2011 to join Bradford Bulls.
Gale immediately impressed at the Bulls and earned a three-year cointract extension in 2013.
Injuries and poor form saw the team relegated and Gale was allowed to leave to join the Tigers.
During 2015, Gale quickly hit his stride with a new look Castleford team.
He helped the Tigers finish fifth in Super League last year and also earned the Albert Goldthorpe Medal for his performances, along with a called up to the England international team.
Gale along with teammate, Michael Shenton was also selected for the Super League Dream Team of 2015.
He has continued to impress this year with many people tipping him to play for England this winter.
He has had an added responsibility this season of captaining the team in Michael Shenton’s absence.