Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell has backed James Clare to make an impact in the absence of star winger Justin Carney for the next two games.
Carney picked up a ban after being charged with grade C punching following a brawl with Widnes Vikings winger Paddy Flynn in last Sunday’s game.
It means he will miss this Sunday’s First Utility Super League clash with Hull KR and the following week’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter-final at Wigan Warriors.
Clare is earmarked as his replacement and Powell is confident he can do a good job.
He said: “It is disappointing to lose Justin as he’s an outstanding player for us. But we’ve got James Clare who’s waiting to get on the field. He’s certainly got plenty of motivation and is a pretty good player in his own right who loves playing for Castleford. It’s a massive thing in his life so he’ll really be looking forward to getting on the field.
“With Richard Owen at Wakefield until the end of the season James is next in line for a place. ‘Sticks’ has been waiting patiently for his chance and when he’s played he’s done well this year.”
On the incident involving Carney against Widnes, Powell said: “It’s a fight and it’s something that happens now and again in rugby league.
“It gets pretty heated out there and it was a couple of big fellas who’ve gone toe to toe. It just spilled over a little bit.
“It got a bit heated and there were a few punches thrown. Nowadays in rugby league you tend to get suspended if you throw punches so it’s not something you want to be doing too much of, to be honest.
“You don’t want to be losing players to suspension so it’s important we learn the lessons from that one.”