NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS English star Joe Wardle is to return to his homeland, signing a three year deal with league leaders Castleford Tigers for the start of next season.
The Scotland international centre or back row has spent just one season with the ailing Knights, who sit bottom of the NRL ladder.
He was brought to Australia by his former coach at Huddersfield, Nathan Brown, after 6 years with the Giants but is reported to have failed to settle in the Hunter Valley and will be granted an early release from his two year deal.
Wardle has been largely impressive in a struggling Newcastle side, notching 3 tries in 14 appearances.
Several Super League clubs had been aware of his availability and it is thought that Daryl Powell’s men fought off the interests of Warrington and St Helens to land Wardle.
Tigers chairman Steve Gill had previously mentioned that the club were in advanced discussions with an English forward, and with the signing of Wardle, it is now clear to whom he was referring.
Wardle will likely feature as the long-term replacement for Jake Webster, who signed a one year contract extension with the Tigers in May, but will be 34 by the start of the 2018 season.