‘Elite’ Carney close to return to action for Castleford

Justin Carney in try scoring action for Castleford Tigers.
Justin Carney in try scoring action for Castleford Tigers.

He is not quite ready to play this week, but the impending return of Justin Carney is set to give Castleford Tigers a big boost as they go into the business end of the Super League season.

Tigers boss Daryl Powell is delighted that his Aussie powerhouse winger is on the mend and is hoping to have him back in the first team for the St Helens game on Thursday week.

Carney dislocated his elbow landing awkwardly during the game at home to Hull KR in April and has missed the last eight games. He will also sit out the match at Leeds Rhinos tomorrow and has been a big miss as he was in great attacking form at the time of his injury when the joint second highest try scorer in the Super League with nine tries in 10 appearances.

His return could be timely with the Tigers facing some make or break games in their bid to finish in the top eight.

“When we got Denny back that really helped us on the wing and Ash Gibson’s done a pretty good job as well, but Carney’s one of our elite players and he was in a rich vein of form,” said Cas head coach Powell.

“Hopefully he’ll kick off where he left off and be in outstanding form.

“We’ve done well without him, but obviously he’s one of our elite players and it will be great to have him back.

“Ash (Gibson) can play in the centres as well so we have options when Carney is back. He’s been playing really well so it’s not saying that it will be him out of the team. We’ll make that decision when we come to it.

“You never know what’s going to happen this week either so you can’t put a banker on anything.”

Powell added: “Carney’s one of our go to men, but we’ve been missing Luke Dorn as well, who’s been outstanding for us over the last couple of years.

“Having said that, Benny Roberts in the first 20 minutes last week at full-back looked pretty special.

“We’ve got options and Justin’s one of those players that when he gets the ball the crowd rises. If that happens you know they are likely to do something in a game and both Justin and Luke will be welcome additions back into the team.”