Castleford Tigers have appointed England hooker Paul McShane as their new captain ahead of the 2022 Betfred Super League season.
McShane started both of England’s 2021 fixtures as hooker and was awarded the Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel award for his performances for Castleford back in 2020.
The 32-year-old is now entering his eighth season with the Tigers, having made 169 appearances for the club, and playing a pivotal role in their run to first Betfred Super League Grand Final in 2017.
McShane becomes Castleford’s 35th captain following in the footsteps of former teammate and England international Michael Shenton.
On his appointment, McShane said: “I’m very proud to be able to represent this club, I haven’t hidden that I absolutely love playing for Cas and it spurs me on to do even better.
“When I spoke to my wife she said ‘You don’t understand how big of a deal it is’, but for me, I’m just going out and playing rugby with a bunch of blokes that I’ve got a lot of respect for, at a club I love playing for. For me, it is something I am going to love doing week in and week out.
“We have a great core of senior blokes here, but not just the senior blokes too, I think everyone in the squad are here to do a job and love playing for the club. I think it’s not going to be too hard to direct these fellas about.
“There is a connection, I just love coming to work every day driving down the main road and you see a Cas shirt – there is nothing better than playing in front of these fans. Win or lose they are supporting you. It wasn’t that good when I was playing against Cas…but even then, I love coming and playing here.”
New Castleford boss, Lee Radford added: “It was an easy decision I think, his leadership qualities on the field are there to see for everyone and I think there is some development there as well in his leadership off the field as well. He does the right things as a footballer, and the blokes have got so much respect for him around the place.
“He has all the qualities you would want in a senior bloke on the field, I think he’s tough, smart, and has a never say die attitude which helps. For that reason, the opposition respects him and his own teammates love being alongside him, I think he’s going to be a success in that role.”