Leeds forward Alex Sutcliffe makes the move to Castleford Tigers on a two-year deal from the 2022 season, in a deal which contains a further two-year option; the 22-year-old speaks of his excitement at the move, his positional versatility, and working with incoming Tigers boss Lee Radford.
Last Updated: 21/09/21 5:00pm
Castleford Tigers have confirmed they have signed Leeds Rhinos forward Alex Sutcliffe on a two-year deal from next season, with the deal containing a further two-year option.
The second row/centre came through the Leeds Academy system and has gone on to represent the Headingley club at Super League level and was part of the Rhinos’ Challenge Cup Final victory at Wembley Stadium in 2020.
“I can’t wait, I am really looking forward to it and I’m itching to get going! I can’t wait to get in and meet all the lads and have a big 2022,” Sutcliffe said when his signing was confirmed on Tuesday.
“I have always admired how Castleford play and I love the fans there. I love how vocal they are especially down at Cas with the fans being so close to the pitch because it is like having an extra man on the field. The fans are such a big part of it, for me.
“I have been the 18th man a few times and it is an intimidating place to go. It makes a massive difference with how loud they are.”
Former Hull FC coach Lee Radford is taking the reins at Castleford from 2022, and 22-year-old Sutcliffe explained he can’t wait to be under Radford’s tutelage.
“He obviously was a really good player. I like everything with the way he sets things out, so I can’t wait for him to take me under his wing and make me a physically tough player,” he added.
“Personally, I prefer the second-row position because you are more involved.
“I don’t mind a bit of physicality. I pride my game on it, especially in my defence, but I don’t mind playing either centre or back row.”
Having been with the Rhinos since he was a teenager, Sutcliffe broke through the youth system and into their first team.
While admitting Leeds have shaped him, Sutcliffe says he is excited to get going with the Tigers.
“I have been with Leeds for eight years and have been privileged enough to win a Challenge Cup, so it’s been class. I owe a lot to them, and I have enjoyed my time.
“This season Cas have played a number of young players, and there is some really exciting talent coming through.
“I know Sam Hall and Brad Martin, who are young lads coming through and they look really good. It should be a good next few years for us.
“I can’t wait to see you all [Castleford fans] and hopefully we have a good 2022. I hope we can go one better and win the Challenge Cup and then push on for even more.”
The addition of Sutcliffe is another strong move in Lee Radford’s squad for the 2022 season, and the new head coach declared how thrilled he was to be able to secure a player with a potentially big future ahead of him.
“I’m surprised we had the opportunity to pick Alex up, he is a fantastic young player that can flip between second row and centre, but I would love for him to nail down a second-row spot.
“I think he has all the physical attributes and the skillset to be able to play there. If you go at him, he’ll whack you because he’s got a shot on him as well.
“I am over the moon to have secured his services because there is a long-term future for him at Castleford Tigers.”