Written by Callum Walker
Two years ago winger Garry Lo disappeared off the Rugby League radar in the UK. Just five days after the Papua New Guinean international had made his debut for Super League side Castleford Tigers, the winger was stood down by the club whilst assisting the police with an unspecified inquiry.
Despite the Castleford club stating that it was merely to help Lo assist the police, the winger didn’t appear for the Tigers again. And, on 6th May, he was released from his contract by mutual agreement, although West Yorkshire Police never charged him with an offence.
For over five months, little was seen or even heard of Lo until, in October 2018, French Elite One side Carcassonne announced his signature ahead of the 2019 season. At the culmination of 2019, the PNG international moved back home to join Queensland Cup side PNG Hunters.
It was a less than glittering end to his career in England which had started so brightly. 45 tries in 44 appearances for Sheffield Eagles in the second tier over a period of two seasons had raised the eyebrow of a number of Super League clubs. Castleford won the race after head coach Daryl Powell waxed lyrical about the powerhouse back.
Despite spending six games on-loan at Sheffield in 2018 – where he scored another four tries – Lo finally got his chance away at Wigan in late April. The winger wasn’t even named in the original 19-man squad, but a late injury to starting back James Clare forced Powell’s hand.
It was a baptism of fire, but it was one which Lo extinguished with a number of devastating runs and a well-taken try rounding off a great debut – although the Tigers did fall to a 28-12 defeat. It appeared as though the winger would kick on and cement a starting berth in a squad that was crying out for some punch in the three-quarter line.
Of course, things soon went awry, but Tigers fans and the rest of Super League couldn’t help but wonder what just might have been for a winger that had an ever-increasing burgeoning reputation on the field if off-field issues had not risen to the surface.