Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos - all you need to know about Friday's huge Super League derby
Both teams will be desperate for a return to winning ways when Leeds Rhinos visit Castleford Tigers on Friday.
Here's all the essential information ahead of the big match.
Fixture: Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos.
At: The Jungle.
On: Friday, May 28,
Coverage: Our League for season ticket holders.
Tickets: Capacity is set at around 4,000 and - including season passes - the game is sold out..
Tigers coach: Ex-Leeds player Daryl Powell, 55, is now the longest-serving coach in Super League, having joined Tigers in 2013, but will be on the move at the end of this season, to take charge at Warrington Wolves. He starred as a player for Sheffield Eagles, Keighley Cougars - where he was player coach - and Great Britain before ending his playing days with Rhinos. He coached Leeds from 2001-2003 and was in charge at Featherstone Rovers before joining Tigers.
Tigers’ star man: Paul McShane set a sky-high standard last year, when he was named Man of Steel and has maintained it into 2021. The hooker is capable of prising open the tightest of defences and will be motivated to impress against his former club and good friend Luke Gale.
Key battle: When Rhinos signed Luke Gale at the end of 2019, Tigers brought in Danny Richardson from St Helens as a replacement. The pair will square off this evening, with Richardson keen to underline his England credentials and Gale aiming to get back to his best after a disrupted start to the campaign.
Tigers’ Form: Tigers are 12 days away from a Betfred Challenge Cup semi-final against Warrington Wolves, but have stumbled in the league, suffering successive defeats, 26-22 at home to Hull KR a week ago and at Warrington last Saturday, when a depleted side were beaten 38-14. Their only loss before that was away to Wigan Warriors.
Previous meeting: April 2, 2021. Leeds Rhinos 10 (Tries L Briscoe, Prior. Goal Martin), Castleford Tigers 18 (Tries Holmes, Evalds, Olpherts. Goals Richardson 3/3). Referee: Liam Moore.
Last five results (most recent first): Tigers: LLWWL, Rhinos LWLLL
Previous game: Warrington Wolves 38, Tigers 14 (May 22), Rhinos 12, Hull 18 (May 23). Both in Super League.
Connections: Rhinos captain Luke Gale is a former Tigers player and was Man of Steel when they finished top of Super League four years ago. Castleford team boss Daryl Powell played for and coached Leeds. His assistant Ryan Sheridan played for Rhinos. Tigers’ reigning Man of Steel Paul McShane began his career at Rhinos. Forwards Daniel Smith and Brad Martin both came through Rhinos’ academy, but left without playing a first team game.
Super League head to head: Castleford won 24 (includes the 1999 play-offs), Leeds won 33 (includes the 2017 Grand Final and 2000 play-offs), there have been three draws. Castleford’s highest score and widest margin was 66-10 at the Jungle in 2017. Leeds’ highest score was 76-12 at home in 2009, which was also their widest winning margin.
Rhinos injuries: Jack Walker (foot), Harry Newman (broken leg), Rob Lui (quad muscle), Cameron Smith (hamstring), Tom Holroyd (fractured leg), Alex Sutcliffe (knee) and Callum McLelland (groin).
Tigers team news: Tigers are without loose-forward/hooker Adam Milner (ankle) and prop Lewis Bienek from the team which lost at Warrington last weekend. Centre Peter Mata’utia, who was another late withdrawal from last week’s side, is included in Tigers’ initial squad and second-rower Cheyse Blair and hooker Jacques O’Neill could return from injury, along with second-rower Oliver Holmes. Prop Liam Watts is available after a two-match ban and outside-back Greg Eden is also in contention.
Rhinos team news: Second-rower Bodene Thompson, who has missed Rhinos’ last two games with a shoulder injury, is included in an unchanged 21-man squad. Full-back/centre Jack Broadbent and forwards Sam Walters and Jarrod O’Connor are in contention for a recall after being left out of the side which lost to Hull last Sunday.
Castleford Tigers: from Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Trueman, Richardson, Watts, McShane, Holmes, Blair, Massey, Griffin, O’Neill, Hepi, Clare, Sene-Lefao, Smith, Eden, Matagi, Turner, Peachey, Martin.
Leeds Rhinos: from T Briscoe, Hurrell, Handley, Gale, Oledzki, Leeming, Prior, Mellor, Martin, Tetevano, Dwyer, L Sutcliffe, Myler, Vuniyayawa, Thompson, Walters, L Briscoe, Donaldson, O’Connor, Broadbent, Gannon.
Referee: Liam Moore. His third Rhinos game this year, he also refereed the sides’ previous meeting, at St Helens on April 2 and Leeds’ loss at Huddersfield Giants a month later.
Next game: Castleford Tigers v Warrington Wolves (Betfred Challenge Cup semi-final, at Leigh, 5pm on Saturday, June 5), Leeds Rhinos v St Helens (Super League, 7.45pm on Friday, June 11).
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