CASTLEFORD, United Kingdom — Former Toronto Wolfpack fullback Gareth O'Brien has signed a three-year deal with the Castleford Tigers.
The 29-year-old originally joined Castleford in August on loan for the remainder of the season. His new contract, which will keep him a Tiger through 2023, comes in the wake of Super League's refusal to reinstate the financially troubled Wolfpack.
O'Brien helped Toronto win promotion to Super League in 2019 when he was named the Betfred Championship Player of the Year after scoring 22 tries. In eight games with Castleford, he had three tries and converted seven goals.
“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," said Castleford coach Daryl Powell. "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."
The Wolfpack stood down July 20, saying they could not afford to play out the remainder of the Super League season. Toronto players and staff have not been paid since June 10.
"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," said O'Brien, who joined Toronto in March 2018 from Salford.
Other Wolfpack players to find new teams, either on loan or permanently, include Sonny Bill Williams (Sydney Roosters), Ricky Leutele (Melbourne Storm), Liam Kay (Wakefield Trinity), Joe Mellor and Matty Russell (Leigh Centurions), Brad Singleton (Wigan), Gadwin Springer (Halifax RLFC), Bodene Thompson (Leeds Rhinos), Greg Worthington (Featherstone Rovers) and Canadian Quinn Ngawati (Rugby United New York).
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2020
The Canadian Press