Key players set to return for Bradford clash

Kirk Dixon could be back to face Bradford.
Kirk Dixon could be back to face Bradford.

SEVERAL first teamers are expected to return for Castleford Tigers in Sunday’s Super Leagfuev home game against Bradford Bulls on as they aim to freshen the side up to avoid the fatigue factor in their third game in nine days.

Injured backs Kirk Dixon, Nick Youngquest and Jordan Thompson have sat out the last two matches while prop Paul Jackson did not make the trip to Wigan on Wednesday night.

Danny Orr and Ryan Hudson, who failed late fitness tests for the Wigan game, could also return but the Tigers suffered further injuries at the DW Stadium when Nick Fozzard went off with a calf problem after only seven minutes and Jake Emmitt was carried off just before the end with knee ligament damage.

Tigers boss Terry Matterson is hoping to have some choices to make again after being down to the bare bones squad wise for the midweek game against the champions.

He said: “We had a maximum of 17 or 18 players to pick from for the Wigan game and that includes Greg Eden and Rob Parker.

“But I’m hopeful we’ll have some players back for the Bradford game. We’ll give them as much time as possible.

“I’m pretty confident Paul Jackson will be all right. He’s been playing with an injury and if he played last night there’s no way he would have been able to play on Sunday.

“I’m hoping Jordan Thompson, Kirk Dixon and Nick Youngquest will all be available and I’ve got my fingers crossed there. That would be a massive boost to have at least a couple of them available because that’s an area we’re very light, in the outside backs.

“Greg Eden will come into contention again. He had some pretty good touches last weekend and looked lively with the ball. We’ve talked with him about some of the areas in his game he can improve, but it was a competent Super League debut by Greg and he showed some signs that he can play at this level.”

Castleford reached the plate final in the first Rugby League Nines grand final at Headingley Carnegie on Tuesday night.

After winning ten games from 12 in the four group qualifying rounds the young Tigers team took their place in the finals night, but with no players with first team experience in their ranks they were knocked out of the main competition in the quarter-finals when narrowly losing 18-16 to Cumbria.

They then entered the plate competition and beat Salford 26-15 in the semis before losing 32-15 to hosts Leeds Rhinos in the final.

Meanwhile, Tigers Supporters Club is holding a Pack Night with a chance to meet several first team forwards at The Loft, Xscape, next Wednesday (7.45pm). Props Nick Fozzard, Nathan Massey and Jonathan Walker will attend along with Daryl Clark and Brett Ferres. They will take questions from the floor and give fans an opportunity to get an insight to life in the Tigers camp. Admission is £1 to CTSC members and £3 non members.