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Hardaker's NRL days officially over

AAP logoAAP 9/11/2016 Scott Bailey

Englishman Zak Hardaker's stint in the NRL is officially over, with the fullback signing with Super League club Castleford on a one-year loan deal.

Hardaker played 11 matches with Penrith at the end of last season in a bid to establish himself in the NRL, while on loan from English club Leeds.

However the 2014 Man of Steel started once for the Panthers and scored a solitary try off the bench as he failed to impress any NRL club enough to meet the $525,000 transfer fee requested by Leeds.

Instead, they have agreed to shift the 25-year-old to the English Super League's Tigers for one season, while his contract with the Rhinos lasts until the end of 2019.

"I am delighted that Zak has decided to sign for the Tigers," Castleford coach Daryl Powell said.

"Two years ago he was the Man of Steel and there is no doubt he is an outstanding rugby league player."

Hardaker will be unable to be requested back to Leeds during his stint at Castleford, and the club has the option to purchase him full-time at the end of the 2017 season.

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