Rankin at heart of quality Tigers backline

Posted: Monday 7th October 2019 - 5:24 PM

Cas finished this year in fourth place after the Betfred Super League play-offs but will look back on a frustrating season at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle with injuries to several key players hampering any momentum and fluency for large parts of the season.

But with the club already confirming the additions of Sosaia Feki and Derrell Olpherts to the back line for 2020, and George Griffin and Tyla Hepi coming in to bolster the pack, Rankin is excited about what next year holds for the Fords and wants to be at the heart of a quality backline for the club after penning a new deal to remain with Cas for next year.

“I think playing full back suits the way I play and the way that we like to play as a club,” Rankin told castlefordtigers.com

“It definitely opens up my attacking game a bit more and enables me to get across the field and get the ball in my hands as much as possible.

“The combinations are only going to build and I’m looking forward to building them further with Truey, Pete, Macca, Cheyse – who’s come in mid-way through the season – and Shenny who is going to be coming back fully fit.

“Those are combinations that I really want to build on and make sure that I do everything in my power to ensure we’ve got the most dangerous backline in Super League come 2020.

“With the personnel and the players we’ve got on deck I have no doubt that we’ll be capable of that. It’s really exciting times for the Cas Tigers and I’m looking forward to next year.”

With a new half back also in-bound to replace the departing Luke Gale, Rankin has identified the Cas coaching trio of Daryl Powell, Ryan Sheridan and Danny Orr as being integral to his performances for the club.

All three members of the backroom staff were international pivots during their careers and Rankin is excited about the impact they can have on his game.

“Just playing a bit of eyes-up footy, that’s what I’ve been pretty good at my whole career and Powelly and the other coaches have given me the role and responsibility to play what I see in front of me, to take opportunities when they’re in front of me and I feel at the back end of the year I got more consistent at fullback with the more games I played there.

“I have got so much respect for Powelly, Shez, and Dan as a coaching staff. They fill me with confidence every day and every game, they give me the opportunity to go out there and play the way that I want to play and what best suits the team. They’re not short on giving me things that I need to work on, but they fill me with that confidence to go out there and do the job that I know I’m capable of.

“Under them I’ve really thrived and enjoyed my time, I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been as happy playing for a team as I am now playing for Cas. I look forward to training every day, talking to the coaching staff and the boys, getting the best out of myself and I believe if anyone can get the best out of me it’s those three men in 2020 and I’m really looking forward at what’s to come.”

Rankin certainly impressed in his first season at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle after joining on a season-long loan from Huddersfield, starting the year in the halves before switching to full back with an impressive return of 11 tries in 22 appearances and 18 goals.

One of the team’s most consistent performers in the final 10 rounds, Rankin became a popular figure with the fans and he wants to see the team deliver on their potential for the supporters in 2020.

“I think the fans obviously want success and want to see the boys trying hard on the field and wearing the shirt with pride. That’s all I try to do I try to go out there every week and give it everything I’ve got for the club and for the team and hopefully that shows to the fans.

“To hear your name getting sung and stuff it puts a smile on my face and you realise you’re doing something right for them. I’ve really enjoyed interacting with the fans as much as possible and they’ve been so welcoming and so loving since I’ve come into the club, they’ve been great.

“Hopefully we can repay that faith and that love that they show myself and the boys throughout the year by going two steps further next year in the race for the Super League title.”

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