BOSS DARYL Powell is confident Castleford Tigers will have options all over the field in 2016.
Young full-back Ash Robson and on-loan Wigan Warriors stand-off Ryan Hampshire both impressed when Tigers began preparations for the new campaign with a 42-28 home win over Featherstone Rovers.
Robson can also play on the wing and Hampshire is able to slot in at full-back. Luke Dorn, who missed the game due to a groin problem, is another full-back option and Ben Roberts played there as well as in the halves last term.
Powell reckons Hampshire will be a key acquisition for Tigers and is confident Robson is ready to fill in when called upon.
“Ryan was really good in the first half, though he dropped completely off in the second,” Powell said of Hampshire’s first appearance.
“His contribution in the first half was excellent, he looked sharp and inventive and his combination with Mike McMeeken and Ben Crooks was pretty difficult to handle.”
Of Robson, Powell added: “He was really good, he did some very smart things. He is pretty sharp and he can beat people, even on a heavy pitch. He was one of our really strong performers and I was really pleased with him.
“He has played on the wing for us and we know he can fill both positions. There’s things he needs to tidy up, but he is certainly a threat when he has got the ball in his hands.”
Powell also feels McMeeken could be in for a big year. He added: “He is turning into a good player. His pass for Ben Crooks’ try (on Sunday) was sublime. He is turning into an all-round back-rower.
“He is skilful and he is a big man as well. His line running is improving all the time, as he showed with his try in the second half. He’s really growing as an all-round athlete.