Roberts in line to make Castleford debut with Milner doubtful

Ben Roberts.
Ben Roberts.

After missing out against Wakefield when Luke Gale and Liam Finn were preferred as the new half-back partnership Castleford Tigers’ Samoan international Ben Roberts looks set to start the round two game against Catalans Dragons.

Tigers head coach Daryl Powell is considering making changes in the wake of the opening day 24-22 defeat, but two could be forced on him with centre Ashley Gibson and hooker Adam Milner picking up injuries.

Roberts is favourite to come in with Finn switching to hooker if Milner does not make the trip to France while Michael Channing is competing with Jake Webster for the right centre slot vacated by hamstring injury victim Gibson.

Powell explained: “Adam Milner looks like he will be really struggling and Ashley Gibson is out for a few weeks with the hamstring injury he picked up early on against Wakefield.

“Adam twisted his knee. He is having a scan this week and hopefully he’ll be okay.

“Everybody else is okay, but there will be at least two changes to the team.

“Liam Finn has played a fair bit at hooker so he’ll be able to slot in there and do a job for us.

“There’s a strong chance Benny Roberts will play. Obviously he didn’t play last week and he was disappointed. He’s been biding his time and has been working with the team for a few weeks. This is a great opportunity for him to get in there and get bedded in with the team.

“There will be a change on the bench so Michael Channing I would say would have a great chance of coming in and playing in the right centre. I’ll make a decision on him and Jake Webster down the track.

“The players coming in will freshen us up a little bit. With that competition for places that we have you don’t get the job done there’s a chance of other people taking places so there’ll be a few in there.”

Powell said there was no chance of any of the four players who missed the Wakefield game through injury returning to the team this week, but two of them were close to being fit.

He added: “Luke Dorn and Matt Cook are not too far away. They’ll both be fit for the St Helens game. But Frankie Mariano and Lee Jewitt are down the track and are four or five weeks away so they are out of the equation at the moment.”