Posted: Monday 8th July 2024

Tigers staff reflect on International duties

It was a Tigers affair on the international stage with Staff from within the backroom out representing England at all levels of the game.


It was a Tigers affair on the international stage with Staff from within the backroom out representing England at all levels of the game.


England Men’s first team featured the Castleford Tigers Head of Medical, Dr Nick Raynor as the England Doctor out in Toulouse. The First Team won against France in a game which saw Sam Wood make his debut, an experience that Nick was pleased to be there for.


"It’s great to be asked to be the doctor, obviously, I hope that I don’t have much work to do as I hope all the players are fit and healthy but it’s really good to get involved and see how the national team works. It was great to go with Woody too. It was his first England call up and It was great to witness that in person. It was great to see how things work at that international level and getting to see all the best staff from the best clubs get together to be able to create an environment so the players could reach their best potential on the field.”


There was also a resounding win for the England Women’s team in France. Matty Faulkner from the club is Performance Analyst with England Women and explains how the performance was more important than the result, but was pleased to get the win.


“My involvement is prepping the team in what to expect and giving them parameters to work within as well as goals to hit during the game. So, we do a lot of work on our stats and different instances within the game and where we want to end up. We tend to look at the overall performance instead of the result. It was a good trip, I was able to be with some good people and pick their brains and getting a win always tops it off nicely. We work as a diverse team with a lot of people from different clubs so we do different things across the sport so it’s always good to sit and talk rugby with them and see if I can get a different viewpoint on things.”


Elsewhere, there was a win for the England Community Lions! Castleford Tigers Scholarship Head coach, Richard Garbett. He spoke of his pride in representing England, and how pleased he is to see the lads set up a showdown with Waless

“It was really good, obviously a different environment with the under 16 Community Lions, but it was brilliant and a real good experience as well as a good day for all the players and even better that we got the win against Ireland, and it sets us up well for Wales in 3 weeks. It’s brilliant and I love going into the representative environment with England and it’s great to come back to scholarship and share things alike and benefit both programmes moving forward.”


Into the Academy picture now, and a hardly fought contest which saw France Academy come away with the win at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Cas had two representatives on the coaching staff with Head Physio for the Tigers First Team, Karl Blenkin involved and Head of Youth at The Jungle, Rob Nickolay.


Blenkin spoke through his experience and about how he picked the brains of staff he’d met for the first time while being away.


“It's been a great few days in the Academy Camp. It's always nice to get a phone call like that, they don't come around that often and it's something I've personally been aiming towards for a long time. You have a pretty good idea of how things will run and had a chance to speak to Rob and a few friends who'd been there before but it was still a bit surreal on that first morning. I settled in quickly; it was a great staff team and a group of lads to work with.”

“From a medical point of view with everyone coming into camp fit, you're more there in an emergency care role and new injury triage role, so I spent a fair amount of time gaining further insight into the pathways programme from Paul Anderson and the wider support team. Overall it was a great first experience in the environment and hopefully be back again with more players and staff from the club.”


Rob Nickolay reflected on his time away with England Academy, an environment that he is already familiar with, but also paid homage to the other members of staff at the club, who were also called up on for national team duties.


“First and foremost, it was an honour to be asked to represent my country and be involved in that programme. As you’d imagine, going into that international programme it would be a step up and the learnings we get from there are what we try to bring back and implement at Cas Tigers. It was fantastic barring the result against a strong French side.”

“It’s special, you get to work with different players from different clubs and it changes slightly every time and I get to take some learnings from it, so it’s a massive honour and something I don’t take for granted. It was great to see a friendly face in camp in Karl, in and around the place.”

“The amount of staff we have working in and around the England setups shows the calibre of people that we’ve got here at Cas and what’s building for the club behind the scenes moving forward. So, it’s a lot of recognition for all their hard work and they thoroughly deserve it.”