It means a lot – Gareth Widdop swaps Warrington for Castleford

Castleford have announced the signing of former England half-back Gareth Widdop following his release by Warrington.

The vastly experienced 33-year-old has agreed a two-year deal to remain in Super League with the Tigers.

Widdop told castlefordtigers.com: “I’m really excited to extend my career for another couple of seasons at such a great club. It means a lot.”

Widdop hails from West Yorkshire but moved to Australia as a teenager and made his name in the game Down Under, first with Melbourne Storm, with whom he won an NRL Grand Final, and then St George-Illawarra Dragons.

His signing by Warrington in 2020 was hailed as a major coup by the club but his first season was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and his final year was hit by injuries.

In between he was the club’s player of the year in 2021 and, in all, he scored 20 tries and kicked 47 goals in 49 Wolves appearances before his contract expired at the end of last season.

His move to Castleford comes just weeks after he announced his retirement from international rugby league after earning 28 caps for England and four for Great Britain.

Widdop said: “I’d like to say it was smooth sailing but unfortunately moving from Australia and almost straight into Covid, meant missing my first season with Warrington.

“It was difficult for everyone obviously, difficult for the world and had a massive knock-on effect on life in general.

“We got through that, and I had a great second year. Unfortunately, I’ve had a couple of injuries this year and, as a team this year Warrington has struggled a bit, but I’m ready and raring to go now.”