Evalds signs extension with Tigers
Castleford Tigers have today announced that Niall Evalds has signed a new two-year contract extension with a further year option in the Tigers favour.
After the 27-year-old put pen to paper on his new deal, Evalds spoke about how pleased he is to extend his stay at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
He said: “I’m very happy and delighted to get it all sorted.
“Everyone has welcomed me with open arms from day one, that’s the playing staff, coaching staff and everyone that is involved with the Club have been so welcoming to me and my family which meant a lot to us and now it is up to me to repay that faith.”
The Tigers’ full back has already showcased his talents this season, however, he believes the best is yet to come in his new colours.
He stated: “I started off pretty well but the last couple of games I’ve been a bit quiet so me and Powelly [Daryl Powell] have been working on how to involve myself more in the team and in the game.
“I think there is so much to improve on and build on.
“I don’t think the fans have seen the best of me yet, but I’ll improve as we get our combinations right.
“To say that we’ve only lost one game, it’s pretty positive because there is so much, we can improve on.”
It has been an impressive start to the season for the Tigers - winning four out of five in Betfred Super League and progressing to the Challenge Cup semi-finals - although Evalds was keen to point out there is more to come from him and the team.
He said: “The ambition of everyone at the club is to be challenging, we’ve got a great set of fans and that’s what they expect too. It is early doors but we have started pretty positively and got some wins but there is so much scope for improvement.
“There is a lot of motivation in the camp but to send Powelly off with a trophy, it’s everyone’s ambition inside the Club.”
Back in April, it was announced that Lee Radford will become Castleford Tigers head coach in 2022, taking over from Daryl Powell who concludes his 8-year affiliation with the Club at the end of the season.
Evalds spoke highly of his new head coach but insisted that his focus this season is to achieve something with the team in 2021.
He explained: “I’m really excited but I’m focussing on this year because we’ve got a lot to achieve.
“Looking ahead, Radders [Lee Radford] has won back-to-back Challenge Cups when he was at Hull, so he comes in with a good pedigree.
“I have had a brief phone call with him so it’s exciting, but we’ve got a long road ahead of us this year.”
Castleford Tigers’ Head Coach from 2022 Lee Radford is excited to have Niall Evalds as part of his squad next season
He said: “I really like what I’ve seen of him, he’s in contention at an international level as well so hopefully he can put his best foot forward for a spot in the World Cup squad.
“I can’t wait to work with him, I like what he’s about as a brave full-back and he is a real threat on plays in and around the ruck. I think he is getting better and developing even more on an edge, certainly offensively.”
Director of Rugby at Castleford Tigers Jon Wells commented on the news.
He explained: “We are delighted to announce the long-term signing of Niall Evalds at the Tigers.
“It’s fair to say the full-back position has been problematic for us over the last couple of seasons but Niall had also been a long-term target of ours. A lot of groundwork went into getting Niall’s signature on that initial one-year contract which was confirmed at the height of the COVID pandemic amidst great uncertainty.
“As soon as we felt secure enough to do so, we made the move to secure Niall on a longer-term contract. In my opinion, he is one of the game’s most exciting players and a young man who is still improving, and I am really pleased he will be a Tiger until at least the end of the 2023 season.