Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell says pre-season has been 'awesome' - now he can't wait for Super League round one

Upbeat Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell has described his squad’s three-month pre-season as “awesome”.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 11:20 am

Tigers will have a 13-on-13 training session tomorrow, which will be refereed by top-flight official Ben Thaler to guide players through the competition’s new laws.

They visit Hull KR for Adam Milner’s testimonial game on Sunday, March 14 and kick-off their Betfred Super League campaign against Warrington Wolves at Leeds’ Emerald Headingley 14 days later.

The long road which Tigers hope will lead to Old Trafford in October began in the week leading up to Christmas and Powell said: “It has been an awesome pre-season.”

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The Achilles injury suffered by Sosaia Feki - pictured during his lone appearance of 2020, against Hull - has been the only blot on Tigers' pre-season. Picture by Tony Johnson.

He admitted: “Obviously losing Sosaia [Feki, to a season-long Achilles injury] was a blow, but the boys have been fantastic.

“We have changed a few things in pre-season, we wanted to get to the starting line with as many players available as possible, which in a strenuous pre-season is sometimes challenging.

“But the players have been awesome, we have trained exceptionally hard, we have focused on some key areas and I think we are in a good place.”

Powell stressed: “You never really know until you get into it, but I am confident all the work we’ve done will set us up for what’s going to be an awesome Super League season.

Daryl Powell. Picture by Tony Johnson.

“Hopefully we can start to see fans back in grounds and we can give them something to cheer about.”

Powell said other than former Cronulla Sharks winger Feki, who managed only 20 minutes of one game - a Challenge Cup defeat by Hull - last season, Tigers have a clean bill of health.

“We have got a couple of bumps and bruises, but we look okay,” he said.

“Players are training consistently and working hard.

“Some of the things we’ve done have been quite exciting and I am looking forward to seeing the boys play.

“With what happened to us last year with Covid, it has been a long time.

“It seems like the longest pre-season ever - we are always calling for longer pre-seasons, but now it just feels like we are ready to play.”