FANS are being urged to support long-serving Castleford Tigers prop Craig Huby’s big day.
Huby, 27, will celebrate 10 years in Tigers’ senior team on Boxing Day when Castleford begin their pre-season programme at home to Halifax in his testimonial game.
The front-rower made his debut in a defeat at Leeds Rhinos in May, 2003, when the home side were coached by current Tigers boss Daryl Powell.
And having worked with Huby since his appointment mid-way through last season, Powell believes he deserves a bumper pay-day.
“Towards the back end of last season I thought he was excellent,” said Powell.
“He is a quality player. He has got an offload, he is pretty tough, he carries the ball well and he has a fair bit of whack about him defensively.
“He had a bit of an unfortunate injury a couple of years back when he was right on top of his game, but he has been a good servant to Castleford and he deserves his testimonial.
“I hope people come out and support him because he has given 10 years’ good service to Castleford.”
Castleford’s assistant-coach Danny Orr is dusting off his boots – more than a year after retiring as a player – to feature in Thursday’s game.
But Powell insisted Tigers are taking the occasion seriously.
“Whenever we take to the field we need to make sure we show what we are about,” Powell said.
“It is a testimonial game for Chubbs and we are paying it due respect. It is a strong team and we’ve got some players who aren’t involved who would like to be.
“It is a good opportunity for the players who are involved and we are expecting a good test from Halifax.
“They have got some good players and they’ll be a challenge for us, but we have got to focus on ourselves and make sure we have got the right attitude.
“We’ll focus on playing well and being tough and aggressive. I don’t expect us to be perfect with the ball, but I do expect us to have a fair bit of intensity and I want to see the things we’ve been working on in defence being pretty visible.”
Tigers will be without several first-choice players due to injury.
Powell said: “Grant Millington has been training okay, but he has a slight ankle injury and we aren’t going to risk him.
“Ryan Boyle’s had a knee reconstruction and he’s looking after that at the moment and Nathan Massey had a groin operation and he’s another couple of weeks away.
“Adam Milner’s had an ankle operation and Jamie Ellis has had an operation on his pec’.
“Jake Webster and Ashley Gibson are both still coming back from injury as well.”
In action for the first time since May will be back-rower Lee Gilmour.
“He’s had a shoulder problem, but he has worked pretty hard and got himself in shape,” said Powell.
“It will be good for him, he is pretty excited about getting back playing.”
Castleford Tigers (v Halifax): Tansey, Owen, Channing, Dixon, Clare, Sneyd, Dorn, Lynch, Clark, Huby, Gilmour, Holmes, Wheeldon. Subs Fleming, Martin, Howden, Reynolds, Mariano, Orr, Finn.
Referee: Chris Leatherbarrow (St Helens).
Kick-off: Thursday, noon.