Luke Gale is to join Leeds Rhinos after Castleford Tigers confirmed they have accepted an undisclosed fee.

The 31-year-old half back missed the whole of the 2019 season with a ruptured Achilles.

Gale played in England’s World Cup final defeat by Australia in December 2017, two months after winning Super League’s Man of Steel award.

His form was key to Castleford reaching that year’s Grand Final, which they lost to Leeds at Old Trafford.

Leeds finished eighth in Super League this season, six points and three places below Castleford, whose play-off run was ended by a 22-0 loss at Salford on Thursday.

Gale, who had two years left on his Castleford contract, joined Tigers from Bradford Bulls in 2015 and made more than 100 appearances.

“Luke came to see us earlier in the year and expressed a desire to pursue other opportunities away from Castleford,” Tigers director of rugby Jon Wells said.

“The club’s position – as is the case with all players – is that we would not want to stand in the way of anyone who saw his future in another club’s colours.”