Castleford Tigers star's season could be over after suspected acl but key man returns to face Huddersfield Giants

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Castleford Tigers' former Wakefield Trinity full-back Ryan Hampshire is waiting to hear if his season is over.

Hampshire is facing a second scan after suffering a suspected anterior cruciate ligament (acl) injury during last Sunday’s win over Catalans Dragons, but coach Lee Radford admitted it is “not looking great”.

Hampshire left Wakefield at the end of last season and broke a hand in a reserve game shortly after joining Tigers in March on a deal until the end of this season.

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He made his debut against Hull KR in May and last week was his fifth appearance for Tigers.

Ryan Hamshire. Picture by Paul Currie/ Hamshire. Picture by Paul Currie/
Ryan Hamshire. Picture by Paul Currie/

Acl damage would keep Hampshire on the sidelines for up to a year and Radford said: “I felt form-wise he was in a really good place.

“He was adding to the way we played so to lose him is a knock for us, but massive for him as well.

“You don’t want to see those injuries on your worst enemy.”

He added: “When you do an acl it is your season finished, but we will do right by him.

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Niall Evalds is back in contention for Tigers. Picture by John Clifton/ Evalds is back in contention for Tigers. Picture by John Clifton/
Niall Evalds is back in contention for Tigers. Picture by John Clifton/

“We’ll try and get him back on the field as soon as we possibly can and he will be in good hands with the medical department.

“It is one of the setbacks in your career that you wouldn’t wish on anybody.”

In more positive news, injury-plagued winger Sosaia Feki, who has played just one senior game since joining Tigers ahead of the 2020 season, has joined Sheffield Eagles on an initial two-week loan.

Radford, who revealed the plan is for him to play at centre for Sheffield, is confident Feki will feature in Betfred Super League this year.

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Tigers are without Liam Watts due to suspension. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.Tigers are without Liam Watts due to suspension. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
Tigers are without Liam Watts due to suspension. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Niall Evalds has recovered from a biceps injury suffered against Leeds Rhinos in April and is set to replace Hampshire at full-back for Friday's visit of Huddersfield Giants.

Tigers are also without Liam Watts, who is serving a one-match ban, so Daniel Smith could take over on the bench and Jake Mamo, Greg Eden, Brad Martin and Jason Qareqare are also in vying for a recall.

Third-placed Giants have won their last six matches, but Tigers are aiming for a third successive victory and Radford feels they are making progress after an inconsistent start to the year.

The game is live on Sky Sports and Radford said: “We haven’t played well in front of the cameras this season, we’ve been awful every time.

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“A statement performance in front of the cameras would be pleasing.

“It is well overdue and hopefully that can happen.”

Victory would be a step towards securing a top five finish and Radford added: “If we get a result and others go our way, we can take a step up the ladder.

“That’s ultimately what we are trying to do, build some momentum going into the back half of the season.”

Giants’ new signing Toby King could make his debut at centre in place of Ricky Leutele, who sustained a knee injury in last week’s victory at Hull KR.

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Sebastine Ikahihifo, Louis Senior, Nathan Mason and Sam Hewitt are also in contention.

Castleford Tigers: from Evalds, Olpherts, Mamo, Faraimo, Trueman, Richardson, McShane, Lawler, Edwards, Milner, Westerman, Massey, Griffin, Fonua, Smith, Eden, Blair, Matagi, Martin, Qareqare, Mellor.

Huddersfield Giants: from Pryce, McGillvary, Golding, Lolohea, Levi, Lawrence, Jones, McQueen, Yates, English, Greenwood, Trout, Ikahihifo, Wilson, Cudjoe, L Senior, Russell, I Senior, Mason, Hewitt, King.

Referee: Jack Smith (Wigan).

Kick-off: Friday, 8pm.

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