RANGI CHASE has vowed to prove his worth when Castleford Tigers visit Huddersfield Giants on Thursday.
The former Man of Steel is set to make his first start for more than two months as Tigers aim to go four points clear at the top of Betfred Super League.
Chase was at stand-off for the opening two games of Tigers’ Super League campaign, but was then dropped for disciplinary reasons.
He has had to settle for a spot on the bench in all five of his appearances since being recalled, but with Luke Gale away on England duty and Ben Roberts ruled out through injury, Chase will carry play-making responsibilities at John Smith’s Stadium.
“I have just got to step up,” Chase admitted.
“I am keen, I am enjoying my footy and I am ready for any challenge that comes my way.
“I am looking forward to it.”
Of being axed earlier in the season, he admitted: “I had my chance and I let it slip.
“This is a team you’ve got to work hard for and you have to earn your spot.
“I have learned that lesson, I’ve come through and I am taking my chance.
I have just got to step up. I am keen, I am enjoying my footy and I am ready for any challenge that comes my way.Castleford Tigers’ Rangi Chase
“You have got to perform well to play in this team. That’s what good teams are about.
“It was my own mistake, but it’s gone now. I had to work hard to get it back and I have.”
Chase starred for Tigers from 2009-2013 before ill-fated spells at Salford Red Devils and Leigh Centurions.
He returned last season and insisted he feels at home, despite his slap on the wrist.
“I just love being here and love being part of the squad, whether I am playing for five minutes or the full game,” he stated.
“Benny unfortunately got injured [against Wigan last Saturday]. Hopefully it’s not too bad, because we need him, but it opens up an opportunity for me and hopefully we can keep playing footy and I can keep doing what I am doing and playing my part in our squad.”
Tigers will need Chase to be firing if third-bottom Giants play like they did in their shock 31-12 win at Leeds Rhinos last Thursday.
Chase predicted: “It is going to take a big performance from us as a whole team
“They have still got some quality players. On their day they are awesome and any team in this competition is good so you’ve just got to turn up.
“There’s no easy wins. Huddersfield turned up against Leeds, who were on fire and they turned them over.
“We have got to turn up with the same attitude we did last week.”
Zak Hardaker and Mike McMeeken are also away with England so Tigers will have to dig deep, but Chase reckons they can take inspiration from the way Wigan have coped with recent injuries.
Tigers thrashed the champions 54-4 in their previous game, but Chase said: “Wigan are a side that always perform even when they don’t have their quality players in.
“They obviously didn’t [last Saturday], but they’ve shown they can do it and that’s what we’re trying to emulate – so no matter who we put in we are good and we turn up.”
A win this week would be another step towards the league leaders’ shield, but Chase insisted Tigers need to keep their feet on the ground.
“We are at the top at the moment, but we are just the challengers,” he said.
“We haven’t won anything so we just need to keep working hard and keep turning up for each other.”
Former Leeds Rhinos and Featherstone Rovers forward Alex Foster could make his Tigers debut on Thursday, along with Kevin Larroyer.
Tom Holmes (Batley Bulldogs), Kieran Gill (Oldham) have been recalled from loan spells and are also in contention.