Powell promises changes after Castleford’s shock start

Joe Wardle, fighting to be fit for the Widnes game.
Joe Wardle, fighting to be fit for the Widnes game.

Head coach Daryl Powell is ready to ring the changes after Castleford Tigers’ hugely disappointing opening Betfred Super League game.

Half-back Jamie Ellis and back rower Alex Foster, who were left out of the team that lost 46-6 at St Helens, are expected to be in the 17 for the home game with Widnes on Sunday while forward Joe Wardle will make his debut if he recovers in time from the hamstring injury that kept him out last week.

Other changes could be in the offing, although Powell cannot call on Mitch Clark, Garry Lo and Cory Aston as they have gone out on loan.

“Without a doubt, there’ll be changes,” said Powell.

“You can’t come up with that performance we had and there not be people dropping out of the team.

“While I’m not going to say who they are, I’m weighing up some positions and I’ll make sure I get that right. We’ve got a staff meeting and we’ll decide what we’re going to do with the team.”

Ben Roberts’ position at full-back will be one of the big discussions after he endured a difficult night at St Helens, with Powell admitting: “That’s one of the positions under threat and there are a few of them.

“The collective coaching group will have to make a decision on what we do at full-back. At the end of the day people come in and out of teams and it’s important how you respond.”

Cas look like being without half-back Jake Trueman after he suffered a head knock at St Helens, but otherwise are hoping to be injury free.

Powell explained: “Jake got knocked out last week and he was a young kid in the middle of a pretty grim performance so I’m not going to put too much at his door.

“I don’t think he will be available this week. We’ll check him later in the week, but there’s different rules for under 19s players with concussion so I don’t think he will play. We’ll have to wait and see with Joe Wardle.

“He tweaked his hamstring the day before the Saints game and I’d say he’s 50-50 at the moment. We’ll check on him on Friday.

“But Gadwin Springer’s training okay and he’s coming back into contention now and Grant Millington should be all right. He’s got an infection that’s caused him some trouble, but hopefully he should be all right this week.”