Castleford Tigers: Returning Holmes says Cas need a better start

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LONG-TERM CASUALTY Oliver Holmes is looking to put a frustrating few months behind him.

A knee injury kept the second-rower out of Castleford Tigers’ opening six games this season, but he returned in last weekend’s 52-16 thrashing of Huddersfield Giants.

Oliver Holmes

Oliver Holmes

Despite rolling an ankle in that game, Holmes has been included in Tigers’ initial 19-man squad for tomorrow’s trip to Wigan Warriors and is aiming to make up for lost time.

“It was a bit of a shock to the system in the first 15 minutes,” Holmes admitted of his comeback.

“The lungs were screaming for a bit of oxygen, but I did enjoy getting back out there with the boys.

“With the injury I’ve had I’ve never been quite sure how long I was going to be out for and how long it’d take to get right.

“It was all a bit of a guessing game.

“I sort of had in my mind that I’d be right for the start of the season, but it wasn’t to be.

“That was frustrating, but I’ve blown a few cobwebs off and I can’t wait to get out there against Wigan.

“Everyone’s talking about it, but it’s just another game and we don’t want to make too much of a fuss about it.

“We want to get back to doing what we do best and that should stand us in good stead.”

Holmes knows he has to hit the ground running or could be back out of the team.

“We’ve got a big squad this year and the strength in depth is probably the best I’ve seen since I’ve been here as Cas,” he said.

“That’s testimony to Powelly (coach Daryl Powell), the coaching staff and the board and, hopefully, will stand us in good stead coming up to Easter.

“That’s a busy part of the season for us. There will be injuries through the season so having that strength in depth is important, but getting in the squad is one thing – you need to make sure when you’re in there you keep your spot.

Tigers conceded the first try in both their past two games and Holmes reckons they need a better start tomorrow. He said: “We just need to be more tidy with what we’re doing.

“We’re not starting games too good at the minute and that needs to be addressed. Wigan will be looking for a bit of a reaction from their loss at Leeds last week so we’re going to end up taking the backlash from that.”

Ryan Hall.

England boss Bennett has a full squad to pick from