Luis Johnson aims to bring youthful enthusiasm to Castleford Tigers after rejoining on loan from Hull KR
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Back rower Johnson, who came through the academy ranks at Cas, is rejoining the club on a season long loan, with a recall option after two weeks, only if Hull KR have significant injury problems.
He started his amateur career at Oulton Raiders at the age of four and was selected by the Tigers at 15 to join the scholarship programme before moving into the academy.
In 2018 Johnson left Cas to join Warrington Wolves on a three-year deal, but then moved to The Robins, for who he has played 23 games. He has also featured for Rochdale Hornets, Widnes Vikings and Dewsbury Rams in loan spells.
Interim Tigers head coach Last is happy to have Johnson on board.
He said: “He’ll bring a bit of youthful exuberance I think. He’s someone we’ve identified as fitting that age profile that we’re looking at. Someone younger, fresher bodies, and a real desire to make their mark in Super League.
"He’s played a fair number of games already and he’s only 24 years of age. He’s familiar with Castleford so he knows the environment and the club, he knows the importance of coming here and giving his best week in, week out.
"He went over to Warrington and played some good rugby there and played alongside some experienced players, and learnt a great deal. Then again at Hull KR, we’re looking forward to having him on board.
“Other teams have been looking in the market, we’ve been the same. Being able to pick someone up of his age and experience is great for us. He’ll improve the competition for places and get some guys looking over their shoulder. He’ll definitely add something to the dynamic of the group."
Johnson is confident the transition back to Cas will be an easy one.
He said: “It’s probably going to be a weird feeling. I was at Cas when I was 15 so it’s been eight or nine years. It will be good to back and getting some games under my belt.
I’m looking forward to be working with players like Paul McShane and Adam Milner and some old teammates. I’ve played with Muizz Mustapha and Albert Vete so it will be good to be back with them. There’s a few others, I was with Alex Sutcliffe all the way through amateur rugby and I did the academy with Callum McLelland so there’s even more faces that I know so it should be an easy transition.
"Castleford fans can expect loads of energy and I bring enthusiasm. Hopefully we can get some more wins under the belt and get rolling through the season.”