CASTLEFORD Tigers are boosted by the return of Joe Arundel and Brett Ferres for tonight’s match against Super League leaders Huddersfield Giants at the Galpharm Stadium (8pm).
Centre Arundel has missed the last three games with a shoulder injury and back-rower Ferres (pictured) is back after serving a one-match ban.
Winger Josh Griffin has been ruled out after sustaining a hip injury in Saturday’s 42-16 defeat at London Broncos.
Skipper Danny Orr is rated 50-50 after picking up an arm injury at London.
Assistant coach Stuart Donlan believes the return of Arundel and Ferres will give Castleford a big lift as they seek to end a five-match losing run.
“It will be a huge boost for the team to have Brett and Joe back in the side,” he said.
“Brett was, in our view, very unlucky to be suspended for what they call a crusher tackle for the last game and he brings a real presence to the middle unit and attacking strike out wide.
“They say you miss a good thing most by its absence and that’s definitely true regarding Joe. We’ve really missed him in the centres and his return gives us options in the centres with Ryan McGoldrick now able to cover the halves if required.
“Danny Orr came off at half time on Saturday after taking a bang to his arm. He had a tingling sensation in his arm and so we had to take him off. He’s still being assessed and monitored by the medical team so he’s 50-50 to play at this stage. He’s put his hand up saying he wants to play so he’ll be re-assessed before we do the team run to see if he can play.
“Josh Griffin picked up an injury as well and he is definitely ruled out.”
Jimmy Grehan is recalled to the squad after scoring a hat-trick of tries for the under 20s in Saturday’s 32-28 win at London. Stuart Jones and Oliver Holmes are both rested.
Castleford’s 19-man squad for tonight’s match is Owen, Youngquest, Dixon, Arundel, Chase, Orr, Emmitt, Clark, Walker, Ferres, Snitch, Milner, Hudson, Mitchell, Millington, Massey, McGoldrick, Clare, Grehan.
In-form Huddersfield have won five of their first six league games. Their solitary loss so far was a 32-22 home defeat against Warrington Wolves.
Donlan said: “Huddersfield have got a lot of momentum behind them at the minute. Going top will be a big boost to them but we’ve just got to focus on ourselves this week and make sure we get our own house in order and then go there determined to put in a strong performance.”
Donlan has been in charge for the last three matches against Wigan, Leeds and London in the absence of head coach Ian Millward who returned to work on Monday after being on compassionate leave following the loss his 19-year-old son Robbie, who died suddenly of a heart attack.
Donlan believes the experience of being acting head coach will have benefitted him.
He said: “It’s been a tough time, and not getting the results we wanted has made it that little bit harder, but I think the experience will have benefitted me in the long term.
“I have enjoyed doing the role and the extra responsibility that brings but I am glad to have Ian back and it is great to have him back in the office and on the training pitch to bounce ideas off and him likewise with me.
“It’s a massive boost to us all to have him back and the plan is for it to show on Friday.”