Batley v Castleford: Young guns given green light against the Bulldogs

CASTLEFORD TIGERS' youngsters will have an opportunity to prove they can shine at senior level when they visit Batley Bulldogs tonight.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 26th January 2017, 2:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th January 2017, 2:46 pm
Jake Trueman.
Jake Trueman.

Coach Daryl Powell has named a young squad for the game which comes two days before his strongest-available team visit St Helens for the club’s final pre-season hit-out.

Seventeen-year-old half-back Jake Trueman, who joined Tigers this week from Bradford Bulls, will make his debut this evening, and off-season signings, centre Tuoyo Egodo and prop Daniel Igbinedion, are also in the squad.

Egodo and academy product Kieran Gill – a utility-back – will be playing their final game for Tigers before beginning a season-long loan at Batley’s Kingstone Press Championship rivals Oldham.

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Tigers’ squad also includes half-back Tom Holmes and forward Will Maher, who will spend the 2017 campaign on loan at Batley.

Tigers returned from a week-long warm-weather training camp in Lanzarote yesterday and Powell said: “The camp was great.

“We got everything we wanted out of it and we are ready to go.

“We are going with a young team tonight and it’ll be a 19-man squad on Sunday.

“They are two good challenges for us.”

Batley begin their Championship campaign away to promoted Toulouse Olympique a week tomorrow.

New coach Matt Diskin’s team have won both their pre-season games so far, against Dewsbury Rams and Keighley Cougars, but he expects a tougher challenge tonight.

“A lot of their squad are knocking on the [first team] door,” he said.

“They have got some very talented kids there, but I’m not really fussed what Castleford put out, the focus is on us learning and developing.”

Batley Bulldogs: from Scott, Reittie, Smeaton, Hallett, Ainscough, Southernwood, Brambani, Hill, Leak, Rowe, Harrison, Manning, Walker, Davey, Brown, O’Sullivan, Bravo, Squires, Hayward, Bretherton.

Castleford Tigers: from Burns, Dixon, Douglas, Egodo, Fitzsimmons, Gill, Goodall, T Holmes, Igbinedion, Johnson, Kear, Maher, McLelland, Million, O’Neill, Render, Sheehan, Storey, Sweeting, Trueman, Turner.

Referee: Nick Bennett (Sheffield).

Kick-off: Tonight, 7.30pm.