Despite a number of players expected to be back from injury Castleford Tigers look set to be forced to field another weakened side as they begin their Super 8s campaign away to leaders’ shield winners Hull FC tomorrow night.
Head coach Daryl Powell is hoping to have at least three back who missed the last game at Wakefield through injury, but reported that 17 players missed training at the start of the week.
He told the Express: “Hopefully we can still put a good side out, but I’m not certain yet what it will be. We will roll into Thursday and see what we’ve got available.
“Hopefully everybody who has a chance will pull through, but we’ve got 17 players who haven’t trained on Tuesday.
“We won’t have a 19-man squad from our first team squad – we will have to pull somebody from our under 19s – but that’s the way it’s been most of the year so we will just get on with it.
“Denny Solomona will be back and Lee Jewitt has trained twice so potentially will be available.
“I’m not sure about Luke Dorn yet, he hasn’t trained this week. But Rangi Chase should be okay. He has trained and we will check on him through the week.
“I was hoping Jake Webster would be close-ish, but he doesn’t look like he’s ready to come back. Andy Lynch is also still a couple of weeks away. There are some good signs in the near future, but this week it’s going to be pretty tight for us.”
With an extra week to prepare for the opening Super 8s game at Hull, Powell is confident his players will be in the right frame of mind.
He added: “I don’t know if everybody is refreshed (from the week off), but we’re looking forward to it.
“It’s a real big challenge for us, starting by playing the Challenge Cup finalists who are top of the league.
“It’s certainly going to be tough, but we look all right.
“We haven’t got the biggest group of players to select from at the moment, but they have looked all right this week.”