Castleford have been rejuvenated under Daryl Powell since he joined the club back in 2013. A sign of just how far the club has come is evident with the tying down of their star players on long-term contracts. The likes of Luke Gale, Paul McShane, and Jesse Sene-Lefao have all committed their futures to Castleford, but there had been a great deal of speculation in recent months that Adam Milner would be leaving West Yorkshire for a more sunny climate in Australia. In years gone by, that would likely have been the case, but the Tigers are now able to fend off serious interest - even from the NRL.

Will he, won't he?

A local lad that played his junior Rugby League for Stanley, Milner debuted for the Tigers way back in July 2010. It is perhaps ironic that Milner grew up as a Wakefield fan, but is now playing out of his skin for their bitter rivals. For six and a half years, Milner - whose grandfather Laurie played for York, Wakefield and Bramley in the 1950s and '60s - plied his trade as a hooker. But, with the signing of Paul McShane in 2015 and how brilliant he was at No.9, forced Milner to look elsewhere for a place in the team towards the back end of 2016.

With no specialist loose forward in the team - indeed, prop forward Nathan Massey had been at No.13 for most of 2016 - the position was there for Milner's taking.

And, boy did he take that opportunity. Milner looked comfortable as a loose forward in the latter half of 2016, and a superb 2017 meant the powerful forward just missed out on an England call-up for last year's World Cup. Going from strength to strength, Milner has somehow improved his form in 2018 to the point at which NRL clubs - one of them was even rumoured to have been NRL champions Melbourne Storm - came calling.

A sign of the times

In the past, Castleford have lost the likes of Joe Westerman, Jordan Thompson, Joe Arundel and Daryl Clark to so-called "bigger clubs," and if Milner had had the opportunity to go to the NRL half a decade ago, he might well have chosen to do so. But, under Daryl Powell, the Tigers are going places - and indeed have already gone places.

A Grand Final debut in 2017 has made the Castleford players hungry for more and to go one step further in the near future. Milner, rightly, wants to be a part of this after spending most of his Castleford career playing in a side that has struggled at the bottom of the table.

Not only have the Tigers improved on the field, but off the field too they are a different proposition to what they were a decade ago. Of course, how well the club is run off the field impacts how good the side is on the field; from the boardroom right down to the playing and coaching staff, Castleford have come on leaps and bounds in the past few years, and the club are now reaping the rewards with the desire of star players to stay.