Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell hopeful of having at least seven players back for Challenge Cup semi-final clash with Warrington Wolves

Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell has named seven players he hopes will be back on the field in Saturday's Betfred Challenge Cup semi-final against Warrington Wolves.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 2:32 pm
Gareth O'Brien, left and Niall Evalds could both be back in Tigers' 17 this weekend. Picture by Alex Whitehead/

Powell will name an initial 21-man squad on Thursday, six days after an understrength team were crushed 60-6 at home by Leeds Rhinos in Super League.

He denied resting players for that game, but said: "There's a couple of players who didn't play last week who were carrying little bits and pieces.

"It made sense to give them an opportunity to be right at the top of their game this week - Michael Shenton, Oliver Holmes, Nathan Massey, those guys will come back into contention.

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Tigers forward Gerge Griffin is suspended for the semi-final. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

"There's others who need to get through this week, Niall Evalds and Gaz O'Brien for example."

Jake Trueman, who missed the Leeds game with a slight back problem and Adam Milner are also likely to feature this weekend.

"Adz would be a bit of a doubt, but I think he should be all right and the same with Truey," Powell added.

"We've a few players back, potentially and we need them, clearly.

"There's a couple of decisions I've got to make and get right, but we've got more availability."

One player definitely ruled out is forward George Griffin who is suspended following a foul on Luke Gale in last Friday's defeat.

Powell said: "It's disappointing, we appealed it and it stayed as it is [a one-game ban].

"I thought we had a pretty strong case and that was reflected in the RFL's comments, but they still felt it was late.

"You can't argue that, but he did make a tackle and the RFL referenced that twice in the meeting notes.

"It is what it is; George can't play, it is disappointing for us and he's disappointed, but we will have a really good squad of players out there on Saturday and it's about delivering a performance that will get us to Wembley."