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England snatch win with late Solomona try

Castleford say they have accepted a settlement “in excess of £200,000” and ended their legal action against their former winger Denny Solomona, Sale Sharks and agent Andrew Clarke.

Solomona, 23, ‘retired’ from rugby league to on a three-year deal in December 2016.

The Tigers for Solomona’s transfer, as he was contracted to them until 2018.

BBC Sport has contacted Sale for comment and is awaiting a response.

In addition to the compensation payment, Castleford say they will receive a substantial contribution – approximately £100,000 – to their costs.

Castleford chief executive Steve Gill said his club had started legal action “as a last resort”, while Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond maintained that the Sharks had “acted legitimately”.

New Zealand-born Solomona had signed a new contract with Castleford in the latter part of 2015 and then enjoyed a hugely successful 2016 season, breaking the Super League try-scoring record with 40 league scores for the Tigers.

Since switching to rugby union, Solomona has been capped by England and

Reaction

Castleford chief executive Steve Gill: “This has been a difficult few months for the club.

“It would have been very easy to walk away and put all of this down to experience but Castleford Tigers is not a selling club anymore.

“We have demonstrated over the last three years that the club is ambitious. We want to maintain our existing squad and continue to improve.”

Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood: “Castleford have been resilient and professional throughout this entire process and the Rugby Football League and other member clubs have always fully supported them in defending a position that we believe is right and just.”

Analysis

Castleford have been lauded throughout rugby league for refusing to be bullied into submission during this case.

Solomona’s decision to walk out on his contract with two years to run and claim he had retired, before joining Sale, was described as a “cynical calculation” by Castleford. It is hard to disagree.

But the harsh truth is that Castleford have not missed him. Their recruitment under coach Daryl Powell has been generally impressive.

The man brought in to replace Solomona was Greg Eden, and the new winger is having a phenomenal year with 30 Super League tries already this season. With potentially 14 games still to play, he looks set to eclipse Solomona’s record set last year.

The compensation figure is well short of the £500,000 Castleford were chasing, but it is also much more than the £50,000 final offer made by Sale before the court case began.

At the end of messy few months that has, at times, heightened the rivalry between the two rugby codes, there will be relief that there has been a conclusion six months after Sale announced the signing.

The Sharks were always confident that they were legally on safe ground when signing Solomona but accepted that a transfer fee, or compensation, was inevitable when it went to the High Court.

In many ways everyone has got what they wanted – Cas will feel compensated, Sale have a potential star and Solomona has his cross-code switch finally resolved.

Many Sale fans will argue that he has already paid back a large part of the settlement with 11 tries in his first 15 games in club rugby – form which caught the eye of Eddie Jones and saw him called up at the first opportunity for international honours, where his debut try won England a game in Argentina.

With Sale’s takeover last summer, the owners are prepared to pay transfer fees if they must to attract the best players and so the final settlement will not be seen as an issue.

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