Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell has promised to field a strong side for Andy Lynch’s testimonial game against Bradford Bulls at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday.
Most of the senior players who did not get a run out in the first pre-season game against Featherstone are set to play, including new half-back pair Ben Roberts and Luke Gale, who will make their debut.
Lynch will skipper the side with the head coach expecting a competitive game against a Bulls side with a point to prove after relegation.
Powell told the Express: “It will be a good challenge for us. Bradford have recruited well and Jimmy Lowes made a bit of a difference to them towards the back end of last year.
“They’ve been training pretty much since we finished our season so they’ll be pretty hardened and ready for ripping into us I think.
“Most of our players are available. We won’t have Michael Shenton, Lee Jewitt or Frankie Mariano, but we will be having a strong team out there.
“There won’t be as many of the youngsters in the squad for this week, that will come the week after against Doncaster.
“We had pretty much a full team that didn’t play against Featherstone so those guys will get a run out.
“Both Ben Roberts and Luke Gale, will play. They will start at half-back and I’m looking forward to seeing them play in the same team.
“It will be good to see the new combination for the first time. They’re shaping up well in training and looked really sharp today so I’m pleased with how they’re progressing.
“We learned a bit from the Featherstone game and got a bit of practice under our belt since then. We’ve got a good game coming up against Bradford and we’ll learn a little bit more about ourselves.”
Powell is happy where his side are at in their pre-season build-up, but is now looking forward to seeing how the players shape up in match action on the pitch.
He added: “We’ve still got a bit of work to do, but we’ve got a month to do it in and we’ll continue to work towards that first game.
“That’s what it’s all about, building up ready for Super League.
“We’ve got quite a few games coming up, which will give us a good opportunity to give everybody a chance to stake their claim.
“Everybody needs an opportunity to put themselves forward on how they’ve developed over the pre-season.
“Obviously everybody looks to develop physically over that time and then put it into action. It’s all about what you do on the field from week to week and everybody will get an opportunity to put themselves forward.”