Casteford Tigers' Paul McShane thrilled to be club's new captain

ENGLAND hooker Paul McShane has been named as Castleford Tigers’ new captain.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 6:12 pm

The 2020 Steve Prescott Man of Steel winner, about to start his eighth season at Wheldon Road, replaces the recently retired Michael Shenton.

McShane, 32, is an obvious choice for new coach Lee Radford giving his growing maturity, leadership skills and impact on the team.

He has been an integral part of the side ever since joining from Wakefield Trinity during the 2015 campaign, helping them finish top for the first time in Castleford’s history two years later and reach a maiden Super League Grand Final.

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“I’m very proud to be able to represent this club,” said McShane.

“I haven’t hidden that I absolutely love playing for Cas and it spurs me on to do even better.

“This for me now is probably the next step: being able to lead this great club week-in, week-out.

“It probably gives me an even bigger drive to keep improving and making things better.”

Castleford Tigers' Paul McShane is the club's new captain. (ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX)

McShane’s career has blossomed under previous coach Daryl Powell, leading to his long-awaited England debut last year, but he hopes to grow further now Radford has taken over.

Asked about his reaction when the former Hull FC chief announced he would be captain, Leeds-born McShane said: “I probably played it cool when he mentioned it to the lads.

“But deep down inside, I was chuffed to bits.

“I love what I do, I love my job and I love coming to work every day.

“For me to keep loving what I do, I just need to keep pushing people on and making them be better.

“That’s only going to help the club get better, which is all I want at the end of the day.”

McShane, who started his career with Leeds Rhinos, conceded he will be trying to take on many of Shenton’s own traits as he takes leadership of the team.

The former England centre led Castleford for eight campaigns and McShane said: “He rarely got flustered and that’s something I really need to work on, especially in a game situation.

“Also, sometimes I just sit back and listen and there’s probably times when I need to step up and speak.”

Radford added: “It was an easy decision.

“Macca's 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 team-mates love being alongside him. I think he’s going to be a success in that role.”