George Lawler’s relishing his fresh start at Castleford Tigers
BECOMING A new parent, moving house and changing jobs are among the most stressful of life’s experiences – and Castleford Tigers recruit George Lawler did all three in little more than a week.
The former Hull KR forward’s partner Grace gave birth to their first child, daughter Winnie, almost two weeks ago, days before Lawler linked up with his new club to begin preparations for the 2022 campaign.
“She was born on November 7, we moved house last Friday and I started training on Monday,” the England Knights man said of his whirlwind few days.
“It has all happened quite fast, but it has been good – I have enjoyed it.”
Lawler, 26, spent seven seasons with his home city club Hull KR – where he was the longest-serving player – before joining Tigers’ new-look squad under coach Lee Radford.
“It has been enjoyable,” he said of the first few days at Castleford.
“The first day, we had a bit of testing and I am gradually getting into it.
“It has been good, all the lads and the coaching staff and everybody at the club have been great with me and I am feeling at home.”
Lawler, who is beginning a two-year contract, could have stayed at Hull KR, but was keen for a fresh start and new challenge.
He said: “It is like being a new kid at school again, learning where to sit in the changing rooms and where everything is.
“I think a change was needed and I am really looking forward to it.”
As a club, Tigers are in a similar situation with Radford having replaced long-serving boss Daryl Powell who is now in charge at Warrington Wolves.
Some Tigers stalwarts, including captain Michael Shenton and pack leader Grant Millington, have retired or moved on and Radford has added a host of new signings to his roster.
“It is a very good squad,” Lawler stated.
“They have signed eight players and they all bring their own individual bit.
“I think we can do something special this season.”
Castleford were Betfred Challenge Cup runners-up this year, but finished a disappointing seventh in Super League, being pipped by Hull KR to the final play-off place.
Of Tigers’ goals for 2022, Lawler added: “I think everyone aims [for the top six], but we are just taking it week by week at the minute and working hard.
“We can’t look too far ahead, or I think you can get a bit complacent or trip up along the way.
“We are looking towards round one and the hard work starts now.”
Pre-season is never a player’s favourite time of the year, but the long preparation – before Super League begins in February – is a bonus for Tigers, Lawler reckons.
“It’s a good chance to get settled in and work hard with everybody,” he said.
“Lee is a nice guy; he is very knowledgeable, all the boys really respect him and he is doing some good things.”