Returning players give Castleford coach decisions to make

Frankie Mariano: Available again for Castleford Tigers after injury.
Frankie Mariano: Available again for Castleford Tigers after injury.

Daryl Powell admits he has some tricky selection decisions to make ahead of Castleford Tigers’ massive local derby with Leeds Rhinos.

Castleford’s battling display in beating Hull last week with a team missing six first teamers has given head coach Powell food for thought and with full-back Luke Dorn and forwards Nathan Massey, Matt Cook and Frankie Mariano all available to add to last week’s victorious squad he has more to pick from.

He told the Express: “We’ve got people coming back who are going to give me a little bit of a headache, but it’s obviously one of the better headaches I tend to have.

“Easter’s an important period and we’ve got a deep squad. We’ve got places that are there to be grabbed at the moment.

“Frankie Mariano will be available over the Easter period and it’s good to get him back.

“Lee Jewitt will be available for the Hull KR game and we’ll see how he goes in training.

“But there’s Michael Channing who hasn’t played much recently, Luke Dorn will come back into contention after his injury and Scott Moore hasn’t played in the last couple of games so will come back in the running. Ryan Boyle missed last week and is available.

“Nathan Massey and Matt Cook also return after their one match suspension, two players who have been playing real well for us.

“Massey’s been probably consistently our best forward and Cook gives us a lot of energy when he comes on the field with his carries in particular.

“We have got a couple of question marks, though. Mike McMeeken injured his hamstring in training and Junior Moors is a doubt for Easter. He’s got a stress fracture in his knee, which is not as bad as it sounds, but still it’s likely to need him to be off his feet for the Easter period.”

Powell added: “It’s getting to that point round Easter where pretty much everybody gets a run and coming out of Easter you should be knowing what your best team is.

“I’m hoping that over the next couple of games we start to see who the players are that are going to be playing in the big matches. But it’s important that the players keep pushing each other.”

Tickets are now on sale for Castleford Tigers Supporters Club’s popular annual race night, to be held at George V WMC on Friday, April 24.

Tickets are £4, which includes pie and peas, vegetarian pies available. Doors open at 7pm with first race at 8pm and everyone is welcome.

Tigers players will be in attendance and tickets are available from the Tigers Den, George V WMC or at Cas home games in the Tiger bar.