Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Since the Super League season recommenced in August, the Castleford Tigers have experienced a decline in form, winning just one of their past nine games in all competitions.
Outside back James Clare puts this down to Castleford failing to adjust their game with the changing rules of the competition; however, remains confident results will soon change based on the work the squad is putting in.
“We are an ever-changing team, adapting to the new rules and player shifts is something that’s an ongoing process. I don’t feel that we’ve adapted to the new rules and the loss of key players, particularly since the restart of the season. We are learning every day and hopefully the hard work we’re putting in together as a team will start showing in our results,” he told Everything Rugby League.
Clare himself has not been in the side for several weeks now, and it turns out that is due to complications with a neck injury he suffered in late August against the Wigan Warriors.
Getting his neck healthy is a priority for Clare so that he can get back out on the field as soon as possible and help his side.
“The neck injury is still, unfortunately, a very big part of my life right now, and it’s ultimately the reason why I’ve not been on the field in recent weeks. I’ve lost a significant amount of power and strength in my left arm due to a bulging disk pushing on a nerve. I’ve just this weekend had a steroidal epidural to help with the issue. Fingers crossed I’ll be back out helping the team again soon.”
In the meantime, Clare and his teammates will be watching the 2020 NRL Grand Final this weekend, and as it turns out his prediction is an unpopular one amongst some of his peers.
“The Panthers for me have got it in the bag. In saying that all the overseas players at Castleford think that the Storm has got it.
“They’re both very good teams, so whoever handles the pressure on the day best will win.”
While the NRL season is coming to an end this weekend, the Super League competition still has a little way to go, so hopefully, we get to see James Clare on the field for Castleford again in 2020.