Castleford Tigers coach Lee Radford salutes 'fantastic' servant Nathan Massey ahead of testimonial v Giants

Coach Lee Radford has urged Castleford Tigers fans to turn out in numbers on Sunday for long-serving forward Nathan Massey.
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Tigers complete their first team pre-season campaign at home to Huddersfield Giants in Massey’s testimonial game.

Paying tribute to the 33-year-old, who made his debut in 2007, Radford said: “He has given so much to the club, he is one of those players who has given everything he has got.

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“He has hung his hat on all the effort-based stuff throughout his career, which has got him to where he is and hopefully there’s a bit of juice left in the tank still.

Castleford coach Lee Radford. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Castleford coach Lee Radford. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Castleford coach Lee Radford. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

“The way he plays is all-in, he has had a fantastic career and hopefully it can be a day to remember for him and his family.”

Radford said new signings Jacob Miller and Gareth Widdop will be in Tigers’ initial squad, but admitted: “I don’t know if they’ll play; we are going as strong as we can, but if there’s anybody with a niggle we’re not going to risk them.”

The coach stressed: “Round one is the starting point of our season, that’s when I want everyone firing and ready to go.

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“We want to get some minutes into some people [on Sunday]. In certain positions there’s real competition, so for those players it’s really important.

Tigers host Giants on Sunday in a testimonial game for Nathan Massey, pictured. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Tigers host Giants on Sunday in a testimonial game for Nathan Massey, pictured. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Tigers host Giants on Sunday in a testimonial game for Nathan Massey, pictured. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
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“There’s healthy competition in our outside-backs and we are heavy in the middle. That’s where I am still undecided, particularly the bench spots.”

But Radford insisted all his fit players are in contention for the trip to Hull FC is two weeks’ time.

“Everybody is a chance,” he stated. “If we pick some knocks up on Sunday, that’s what this squad is so big for - one goes down, one comes in. We want that ‘next man up’ mentality.”

Gareth Widdop could make his first appearance for Tigers on Sunday. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.Gareth Widdop could make his first appearance for Tigers on Sunday. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.
Gareth Widdop could make his first appearance for Tigers on Sunday. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.
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Giants are being tipped as title contenders this year and Radford reckons the game is “a fantastic opportunity for us to see where we’re at and also what we need to fix up before the start of the season”.

Huddersfield Giants: from O’Brien, Golding, Carter, Rushton, Senior, Ashworth, Bibby, Billington, Billy, McGillvary, Greenwood Parsons, Jones, Rush, Cudjoe, English, Mason, Russell, Trout, Halsall, Hewitt, Ikahihifo, Lolohea, Pryce.

Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield). Kick-off: Sunday, 3.30pm.