The 2019 Super League campaign may have finished less than a month ago, but Ben Long is already looking ahead to what 2020 has in store and has identified six intriguing transfers, each with a point to prove at their new clubs.
Danny Richardson to Castleford Tigers
An interesting one. 2018 Dream Team halfback Danny Richardson suffered an almighty fall from grace in 2019, going from being tipped by many to be a certainty for England in the near future to struggling to get a game.
Richardson is a talent. He can kick goals for fun, has good support play and is fairly dangerous with ball in hand with his guile and evasive skills.
However, he is far from the finished article and ultimately wasn’t strong enough defensively to retain his place in the St Helens line-up. His decision making under pressure also wasn’t the best, especially in the big games and perhaps the demanding role of the dominant halfback took its toll.
But without sounding too critical I am looking forward to seeing how Richardson gets on at The Jungle. Replacing former Man of Steel Luke Gale, Richardson certainly has some big boots to fill but I believe has the confidence in his own ability to not be phased by the challenge.
Daryl Powell, a former halfback himself, is renowned for his excellent man-management and has overseen some terrific attacking setups that made Cas the most entertaining team in the competition, allowing his playmakers to really flourish.
Richardson could be a fit for the Tigers. He has a few deficiencies as mentioned earlier but I think the positives of this transfer outweigh the negatives as far as Castleford are concerned.
A young hungry halfback with a point to prove and will improve with experience.
I’m not convinced Rankin or Mata’tuia were the answers to Castleford’s problems in the halves and Gale, having suffered a horrific injury, is now on the wrong side of 30 so it really isn’t bad business.