CASTLEFORD TIGERS have been “awesome” in training – now coach Daryl Powell wants to see them take that on to the field.
Tigers begin their pre-season fixtures on Boxing Day when Hull visit the Jungle for the inaugural Harrison-Bryan Trophy match
Powell has named a 27-man squad including new signings, established players and academy prospects.
And he reckons Monday’s hit-out will give him an indication of where his side are and what they need to work on before their Betfred Super League opener at home to Leigh Centurions on February 10.
“The boys have been awesome,” Powell said of pre-season so far.
“We’re looking forward to the game now and seeing the boys in action and seeing what we look like straight off the bat.
“Every club during pre-season looks at a few different things or a slightly different attitude or a different edge to things.
“It’s just about seeing whether that’s visible within a game and I think we’ve got to the point in pre-season where the boys are ready.
“All they want to do is play the game. When you train all week in pre-season and you haven’t got that, you look forward to breaking it up with a game.”
Zak Hardaker will make his first appearance for Tigers following his season-long loan move from Leeds Rhinos.
Other signings in Monday’s squad are ex-London Broncos outside-back Tuoyo Egodu, Daniel Igbinedion – a prop or second-row brought in from Oxford – and Jesse Sene-Lefao, who was at NRL champions Cronulla Sharks last season.
Full-back or winger Greg Eden, who made two Super League appearances for Tigers in 2011 and has returned to England from Brisbane Broncos, is also set to feature.
“It’s an opportunity for the new players to put a marker down,” Powell said.
“They have been training pretty well and it is an opportunity for the fans to have a look at them and see what sort of combinations we’ve been working on.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the new boys have a good start to life at the Tigers.”
Captain Michael Shenton will make his comeback from the knee injury he suffered in the opening game of last season.
Matt Cook has been named in the squad, but could be withdrawn due to an ankle problem.
Players not available due to injury include Larne Patrick, Adam Milner, Andy Lynch and Ben Roberts.
Hull’s squad includes new signings Josh Griffin – who had a spell at Wakefield Trinity – and former Leeds Rhinos academy and Yorkshire Carnegie rugby union winger Nick Rawsthorne.
Castleford Tigers: from Chase, Cook, Douglas, Egodu, Eden, Fitzsimmons, Hardaker, T Holmes, Igbinedion, Johnson, Maher, Massey, McLelland, McMeeken, McShane, Millington, Million, Minikin, Moors, Render, Sene-Lefao, Sheehan, Shenton, Springer, Turner, Webster, Westerman.
Hull: from Tuimavave, Griffin, Hadley, Green, Thompson, Washbrook, Michaels, Naughton, Bowden, Rawsthorne, Targut, Lancaster, Downs, Fash, Matongo, Litten, Osborne, Lane, Bower, Sanderson, Adlard, Wray, Silk, Wood, Lee.
Referee: Jack Smith (Warrington).
Kick-off: Monday, 1.30pm.