Talented young British half-backs set to go head to head at Castleford

Jake Trueman in action for Castleford Tigers at the Dacia Magic Weekend.  Picture: Matthew Merrick
Jake Trueman in action for Castleford Tigers at the Dacia Magic Weekend. Picture: Matthew Merrick

Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell is looking forward to seeing two of the best young British half-backs going head to head in tomorrow night’s Betfred Super League game against St Helens at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

In the home side will be Jake Trueman, who sparkled when handed a half-back role in the Tigers’ victory over Leeds Rhinos at the Dacia Magic Weekend. And in the visiting team will be Danny Richardson, who ran Ben Barba close for man of the match in Saints’ Ladbrokes Challenge Cup win over Cas.

Both look to have a bright future in the game and it is encouraging to see two such young players given a big chance in Super League.

“Danny Richardson’s a good young half-back, he’s a little bit different and he’s got some exuberance about him,” said Cas boss Powell.

“He runs the ball, his kicking game is good and he’ll run the ball on the last quite a bit. He’s got some real good things to his game. He’s a good young British half-back.

“Probably the best two young half-backs in the game are going head to head on Thursday.

“I thought Jake Trueman was outstanding for us at the weekend and you can see how good he’s going to be.

“He’s a 19-year-old kid and he’s handling the top level really well.”

Powell would not reveal ahead of the game whether Trueman would continue at half-back or move to full-back with Ben Roberts back in the 19-man squad for tomorrow night’s game.

But the coach has been pleased with the work of Michael Shenton in the last couple of games when he has found himself in the unfamiliar position of full-back.

He explained: “I think Shenny’s been outstanding at full-back, particularly in settling us down. At the back defensively he’s been great and he’s a steadying influence.

“With both the wingers he’s been great and I think that’s worked for us. So however we piece it together is an interesting one, but we’ll come up with a plan.”

On Shenton’s position in the team, Powell added: “It’s not long term for him at full-back. But I think the team comes first, Shenny knows that and he’s been fantastic - he’s also played on he wing as well for us.

“It’s just the way things have panned out for us.

“Playing a position you’ve played all your life is like riding a bike isn’t it? He’ll be fine when he goes back to centre and I think he will. We’ll see when that is.

“That’s going to depend on what happens with the team with injuries. We’ve had a lot of moving around to do this season, but I think the players have handled it really well.”