HOOKER Adam Milner has put his hand up to play half-back for Castleford Tigers at Hull KR tomorrow.
Tigers are without a recognised stand-off or scrum-half with Ryan McGoldrick and Rangi Chase suspended and Danny Orr sidelined due to a back injury.
Milner – who wasn’t selected for the win over Widnes Vikings almost two weeks ago – is the most likely option to take over from Orr scrum-half.
Ryan Brierley, who has been playing on a dual-registration contract at Co-op Championship outfit Leigh Centurions, has been named in Tigers’ initial 19 and could make his debut at stand-off.
Coach Ian Millward originally said he had decided against recalling Brierley, but was considering drafting in Ben Johnson, who is on dual-registration at York City Knights.
Milner said he would jump at the chance if he gets the nod tomorrow.
“I have played there a few times this year,” Milner said.
“I played in the halves against London and St Helens and I went there when Nick Youngquest went off in the game at Warrington.
“I struggled a bit, but we’ve done a lot of work this week and if I am in there I’ll be ready to stake my claim and prove a point to many people, that I can play No 7 as well.”
Milner said he played stand-off and loose-forward at amateur level and moving away from his specialist hooking role holds no fears.
“I played all over the place when I was an amateur and hopefully that’ll stand me in good stead,” he said.
“It’s not that different, there’s not much difference between seven and nine. I’ve just got to make sure I take my chance, that’s what I’m looking to do this weekend because I have been a bit in and out this season.
“If selected I’ll be looking for a good performance, it is a good opportunity for me to show what I can do.”
Milner added: “We’ve got some quality half-backs in Danny and Rangi and it’s unfortunate that they’ve picked up some injuries and suspensions.
“If I get picked this weekend I’ll have to step it up to their level.”
The lack of experienced half-backs has come at a bad time for Cas, ahead of a game which will be crucial in the race for the eighth and final play-off spot.
Cas began the weekend 11th in the table, two places and three points behind tomorrow’s hosts. Cas, though, are in buoyant mood after the win over Widnes and Milner said: “We want to make a play for the top-eight in the next few games coming up.
“We see an opportunity to get some results and it is about time we started playing and picking up some points.
“It was good to get back to winning ways against Widnes. The team has certainly picked up a lot of confidence coming out of that game.
“There’s still a lot of things to work on and hopefully we’ll come out firing against Hull KR this weekend.”
The 12 points conceded against Widnes was Tigers’ best defensive effort so far this term – four of those coming through a break-away try on the final play of the game.
“Our defence has been a bit of a frailty this year,” Milner admitted. “We want to continue from where we left off against Widnes.
“We need to tighten up our defence this weekend, they can’t win a game if they don’t score any points, so that’s what we’re looking to do.”
Prop Paul Jackson – who has not played since suffering a hand injury in the Cup semi-final defeat to Leeds Rhinos last August – is named in Tigers’ initial 19. Also in contention is back-rower Oliver Holmes.
Hull KR’s side will be selected from the players beaten at Wigan two weeks ago, plus Scott Murrell and Sam Latus.
Hull KR from: McDonnell, Hall, Welham, Salter, D Hodgson, Green, Dobson, Paea, Withers, Taylor, Mika, Galea, Watts, O’Hara, Clinton, Lovegrove, J Hodgson, Murrell, Latus
Castleford Tigers from: Owen, Youngquest, Ferres, Thompson, Dixon, Brierley, Milner, Massey, Hudson, Huby, Mitchell, Millington, Jones, Emmitt, Clark, Walker, Thompson, Jackson, Holmes.
Referee: James Child (Dewsbury).
Kick-off: Tomorrow, 3pm.