Bailey Dawson rejoins familiar faces as Castleford Tigers add another promising youngster to their ranks

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Following hot on the heels of announcing the signing of Jacob Hookem, Castleford Tigers have confirmed the arrival of another promising young player.

Bailey Dawson has arrived on a one-year deal, with an option for a further year and is already well known to several of the Tigers coaching staff.

The 19-year-old second row forward came through the ranks at the City of Hull Academy before being picked up by Hull KR where he represented the Robins’ Academy and Reserves squads before heading out for a loan stint at Midlands Hurricanes near the back end of this year.

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Dawson explained his road to Super League: “I started when I was about eight at Skirlaugh Bulls and stayed there for all of my community rugby. I then got a scholarship with City of Hull Academy, that was a good experience.

Young second row forward Bailey Dawson has joined Castleford Tigers on an initial one-year deal.Young second row forward Bailey Dawson has joined Castleford Tigers on an initial one-year deal.
Young second row forward Bailey Dawson has joined Castleford Tigers on an initial one-year deal.

"I was with Danny Wilson and Rob Nickolay so I’ve got familiar faces here now. Then I went to Hull KR and had two years there in the academy and one year in the reserves and training with the first team.

“I came through the system when Danny, Rob and Matty (Faulkner), Lee (Radford) and Andy (Last) were all Hull coaches, they’re good lads and hopefully I can get my opportunity here.

“There’s a lot of hard work to be done in pre-season and throughout the season and I'm willing to put in that work.”Dawson reckons the first team experience he picked up in his loan spell with the Midlands Hurricanes – where he scored one try in five appearances – will stand him in good stead.

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He said: “It was valuable experience. It was beneficial for my career. I had some good and some bad games, but it was definitely great experience for my career and for me to grow as a player.”

Dawson is looking forward to picking up tips from existing back rowers at Cas and one player in particular: “Kenny Edwards is a player I’d like to play with, he skips around a lot and he’s kind of a free back rower and I like that a lot.

"He plays the game hard so he’s definitely someone I’ll be looking up to and to learn off.”Alongside playing for Cas, Dawson will be studying at University Centre Leeds where the Tigers Foundation’s link with the university offers young players the chance to study a degree alongside their playing career.He added: “I got given the opportunity to go to university and study a sports course. It’s really beneficial to young players to get an education as well.

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"Getting a degree whilst training is perfect, it’s an ideal situation. Rugby careers aren't long lasting so it’s perfect for me to go down that route and gain an education.”Tigers head coach Lee Radford is pleased the club is giving a promising prospect the opportunity to progress at Wheldon Road.He said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for him and I really hope we can give him everything he needs to progress and Bailey can give everything to move forward with this club.”