O'Brien signs three-year Tigers contract
Castleford Tigers are delighted to confirm Gareth O'Brien has signed a three-year deal with the club, keeping him as a Tiger until the end of the 2023 season.
The 29-year old joined the Fords back in August initially on loan for the remainder of the 2020 season and would have returned to his parent club Toronto Wolfpack next year if the Canadian club’s entry to Betfred Super League had been granted. Following the decision to reject Toronto’s admission, Gareth agreed to a deal with Castleford and will remain a Tiger.
O’Brien quickly embedded himself well in the squad and in his eight Tigers appearances this season scored three tries and converted seven goals. In 2019 O’Brien was named the Betfred Championship Player of the Year after registering 22 tries and over a quarter of Toronto’s entire points tally in that year’s campaign.
The addition of O’Brien to Castleford’s 2021 squad adds further competition for starting spots in the Tigers’ matchday squad, for both the fullback and halfback spots with Niall Evalds, Jake Trueman and Danny Richardson also in the team.
Speaking to castlefordtigers.com about the news, O’Brien said:
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to continue my stay at the Tigers and I’m really looking forward to the next three years.
“Since joining it’s been great, I settled in really quickly, the boys have been great and the coaches have been fantastic. It’s been a difficult year for everyone, and I think we’re a bit glad to see the back of it and we’re all looking forward to 2021.
“I can slot into both halfback and fullback and that gives us some good options for next year. I’ll be putting everyone on their toes, it’s healthy and helps the competition that a squad needs. I’m looking forward to it.”
Head Coach Daryl Powell is delighted to keep hold of O’Brien in his Castleford squad:
“I think Gaz showed what an experienced half can add, either playing at half or fullback, he’s pretty flexible and he has been great for us. With Jordan Rankin going home he ended up being a key signing and whichever position he played in he was very good, and we’re delighted he has taken up the offer to stay with us.
“He has great experience, can kick, run, pass the ball, be very dangerous and adds real competition for places at fullback and halfback which is a great situation to be in.
“It’s been tough for all the Toronto players not really knowing where their future lies and so there was a bit of flexibility there for Gaz. He’s fitted in well and so we were happy to give him some security if Toronto did not work out for him, so we are very happy he will be a Tigers player going forward.”
Director of Rugby at Castleford Tigers, Jon Wells is pleased O’Brien will be a Tigers for a further three seasons and said:
“Gareth has been a first-class addition to our squad this season and we are very pleased to have him on board on a permanent basis going into 2021.
“He is an experienced, high-quality player and he adds great depth and versatility to our squad. At a time when the entire game is having to cut its cloth according to their means, I think this is a vital signing for us.”