Jake Webster will leave the Castleford Tigers at the end of 2018 to take up a deal at Bradford Bulls. Webster arrived at the Castleford Tigers ahead of the 2013 season from Hull KR, having joined the Robins from NRL side Gold Coast Titans in 2008. On Humberside, Webster had made a name for himself as a hard-hitting, devastating, yet injury-prone centre - he played just 15 games in 2010 and 13 in 2012. Despite this, Webster came to Castleford with a great deal of pedigree and experience - he had made eight appearances for New Zealand whilst in the NRL with Melbourne Storm and then the Titans.

Tough times

In pre-season - before the start of the 2013 season - and during February and March, Webster formed a superb partnership with winger Justin Carney in what was overall a dismal start to that year for the Tigers - just one win in 18 games saw Millward released in early April.

However, just seven games into 2013 disaster struck; it was the 24th of March and the blockbusting centre suffered a season-ending injury - Webster would not return to a Rugby League field until Sunday 9th March 2014. He made his comeback game for York City Knights on dual-registration before finally making his way back into the Castleford lineup to play 22 games in 2014 as the Tigers reached Wembley for the first time since 1992.

It takes a certain strength of character to be able to refocus on and off the field after being out of the team for a year, but Webster was able to do that and come back with a bang. The centre has since gone on to make over 120 appearances for the club - a feat which would barely seem believable in the first few years of his Castleford career.

Webster joined the club as a 28-year-old, he will leave the Jungle aged 34, defying the expectations of those who believed injuries would force him to retire before 30.

Fans' favourite

Jake Webster has established himself as firm fans' favourite at Castleford, not just for the way he conducts himself on the field - he runs his blood to water and puts his body on the line every single game - but for his attitude towards the fans.

At the end of every home and away game, the former Kiwi international is there shaking and slapping hands of the fans - most of them young, giving these youngsters memories that will live with them forever.

On the field and in almost every tackle he is involved in, Webster struggles to get to his feet afterwards. Seemingly injured and with trainer Matty Crowther storming onto the pitch, Webster carries on, determined to shake off the pain. It's a testament to how strong-willed the centre is that this normally happens about three or four times a game, but each time Webster gets back up on his feet and the next minute he's either targeting a man in defence or taking the ball with great ferocity.

In fact, one could even say that Webster has been like a fine wine - he's been getting better with age. Each season since making his comeback in 2015, the centre has improved enough to earn himself three contract extensions (in 2015, 2016 and 2017) when just one seemed unlikely. His 2017 season - in which the Tigers finished in first place for the first time in their 92-year history - was arguably the best of his career, scoring four tries on the famous night when the club clinched the League Leaders' Shield.

Though Webster appears to be slowing down in the Super League, a one-year deal with likely Championship side Bradford - as reported by the League Express - is the right move to make as his career comes to an end. He has been a brilliant servant for the Tigers over the six years he has been at the club, but a step down is perhaps the necessary thing to do.