Castleford Tigers' former Leeds Rhinos academy player Brad Martin set for 'biggest game so far' in Challenge Cup quarter-final against Salford Red Devils
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Martin, 20, is poised to make his third successive appearance for Tigers when they meet Salford Red Devils in a BBC-televised Betfred Challenge Cup quarter-final at Leeds’ Emerald Headingley on Saturday.
He played once as a substitute in Super League last year, but - if selected - it will be his Cup debut and “probably the biggest game I’ve played in so far”.
He said: “For me, it is just building on every week.
“I got in the team against Wigan and then Salford last week and now the Challenge Cup this week.
“My main goal is just to try and stay in the team and keep performing.”
Martin reflected: “I think I am building every week, to be honest.
“Against Wigan I got about 15 minutes and against Salford about 35-40.
“I think I am doing okay - there’s still some improvements to make, but I think that will come with the game time.
“I just want to keep playing well every week to stay in there.”
Coach Daryl Powell has said he is keen to give Tigers’ best young players an opportunity this year.
“It is a massive confidence boost just to get that faith from Powelly, but I think the main thing is to repay it,” Martin added.
“I just want to show him I can do it and I can step up when I need to.”
From Normanton, Martin came through the academy ranks at Rhinos and joined Tigers ahead of the 2020 season.
He recalled: “I was at Leeds for four years, from 15 to around 18/19 and then moved to Cas.
“[It was for] first team opportunities and a new challenge as well.
“I was at Leeds a long time and Cas is just around the corner from my house and my mum’s from Castleford.
“It is a bit closer to home and also I like the way Cas is going and they want to grow the club.
“But also I get the opportunity at Cas to play and I knew that when I came, so that was a big thing for me.”
More - Five players leave Castleford Tigers women's side - England stars join former coach at York City KnightsTigers will go into the tie as favourites following last week’s 28-18 win, but Martin insisted that result means “absolutely nothing” now.
“Obviously we know how they play and we won’t get too shocked by things, but it is completely different playing a league game to playing in the Challenge Cup,” he observed.
“They will be a different team, they obviously want to win and I think it will be a lot tougher game than last week, because there’s a lot on the line.”
Tigers are without Cheyse Blair and Greg Eden from last week’s team, but George Griffin, Dan Smith, Jordan Turner, James Clare and Gareth O’Brien are in contention after injury and Lewis Bienek is also vying for a call up.
Andy Ackers and Josh Johnson have dropped out from Salford’s side. Ryan Lannon, Pauli Pauli, Elijah Taylor, Dan Sarginson, Darcy Lussick and Dec Patton are vying to replace them.
Castleford Tigers: from Evalds, Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Trueman, Richardson, Watts, McShane, Millington, Holmes, Milner, Massey, Griffin, Clare, Sene-Lefao, Smith, Turner, Bienek, Peachey, Martin, O’Brien.
Salford Red Devils: from Sio, Watkins, Lolohea, Brown, Mossop, Ikahihifo, Lannon, Pauli, Taylor, Addy, Roberts, Burke, Atkin, Kear, Livett, Greenwood, Williams, Sarginson, Ormondroyd, Lussick, Patton.
Referee: Ben Thaler (Wakefield).
Kick-off: Saturday, 5.30pm at Emerald Headingley.
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