• Full-back tested positive for cocaine in 2017• Hardaker awaits judgment from UK Anti-DopingZak Hardaker is a free agent as he waits to discover his punishment for failing a drug test in September. The former Leeds and England full-back was dropped by…
Category: Super League Rugby
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Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow want to end their Leeds playing careers with another title against their neighbours Castleford at Old Trafford
The home grounds of Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos lie less than 20 miles apart. As local rivalries go, they do not get much more intense. That much will be evident on Saturday night when their two worlds collide at Old Trafford in the 20th Super League Grand Final.
They may be close as the crow flies but the two clubs are a long way apart in many other respects. This is David versus Goliath, played out on the sport’s biggest stage – and, even though the pre-match chatter has been dominated by Zak Hardaker’s omission from Castleford’s squad for a breach of club rules, it still has all the makings of a classic.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/06/mcguire-burrow-leeds-castleford-grand-final-preview
Four years ago the club almost went out of business but they have soared under Daryl Powell and can fulfil the dream of former owner Jack Fulton on Saturday
On Saturday it will be 10 years to the day since Castleford won rugby league’s Championship to earn promotion to Super League. “Ten years? It feels like a lifetime,” says their captain, Michael Shenton, who played in that match against Widnes as a teenager. Before this extraordinary season that had been the extent of Castleford’s recent success but come Saturday night, against Leeds at Old Trafford, the Tigers could be crowned Super League champions.
There are rugby league-mad towns, and then there is Castleford. Only a few miles from Leeds and Wakefield, this little pocket of West Yorkshire eats, sleeps and breathes the sport. They are playing in the Grand Final for the first time – though they will do so without their outstanding full-back, Zak Hardaker, who was dropped on Thursday for a breach of club rules – and the town with a population of only 40,000 will feel empty.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/05/castleford-rapid-rise-unthinkable-grand-final-daryl-powell
• Tigers drop England full-back in run-up to biggest game in their history
• Hardaker had enjoyed stunning season after move from Leeds
The England international Zak Hardaker has been dropped by Castleford for Saturday’s Super League Grand Final following a breach of club rules.
Only 48 hours after finishing second behind his Castleford team-mate Luke Gale in the 2017 Man of Steel awards and with the club’s first-ever appearance in the Grand Final days away, Hardaker has been omitted from the Tigers’ 19-man squad to face Leeds at Old Trafford.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/05/zak-hardaker-castleford-miss-grand-final-breach-club-rules-rugby-league