Written by Callum Walker
Photo by Getty Images
From reports in the League Express past weekend, Castleford have signed Sosaia Feki, a blockbusting winger from 2016 NRL Grand Final winners Cronulla Sharks. This is the sort of three-quarter signing that Castleford have needed to make since the likes of Denny Solomona and Justin Carney left the club.
What can Castleford fans expect? Well, Feki has got pace to burn, but also likes to go through opponents rather than around them. A strong, devastating runner, Feki will help the Tigers coming out of defence and will provide excitement going forward. With superb aerial ability too, he is likely to be the target of attacking kicks from a Castleford perspective.
Since making his debut for Cronulla in 2013, Feki has scored 61 tries in 138 appearances and has represented Tonga twice. To amass over 100 games in the NRL is impressive, particularly for a Sharks side that has won silverware in recent years. So then, critics could ask, why is he coming to Super League?
At the age of 28, it may be his last chance to wander to UK shores as a Rugby League player. Plus, Castleford favourite Jesse Sene-Lefao played with Feki at Cronulla in 2016 and Sene-Lefao is likely to have been in contact with the winger, telling him all about the club and its fans.
At 100kg and standing at 6 ft 2, Feki would be an impressive Super League winger. In a league where teams tend to break free from structures more often than in the NRL, Feki would be the recipient of quick ball and inventive play – although the return of Luke Gale would be necessary for this to occur.
Look at Castleford’s wingers in 2019: Greg Eden, James Clare, Greg Minikin, Tuoyo Egodo and Kieran Gill. Feki is definitely an upgrade; with a wealth of NRL experience and a number of impressive attributes on his side, the Tigers are going to be a much more threatening outfit with him in the side.
Castleford have struggled along the backline this season; the signing of Cheyse Blair was needed in pre-season with the departure of Jake Webster, but the Tigers appear to be finally acting ahead of the 2020 season rather than waiting midway through the season.
Though the 2019 season is seemingly a write-off, the Tigers are rebuilding for 2020. With a lot of movement rumoured, the signing of Sosaia Feki is one that Castleford fans can certainly get excited about.