Castleford Tigers v Warrington Wolves - Key players back in contention as Tigers aim to to reach Wembley Challenge Cup final for first time since 2014
Underdogs Castleford Tigers will field their strongest side since the early weeks of the season when they face Warrington Wolves in the second game of Saturday's Betfred Challenge Cup semi-final double-header at Leigh.
Coach Daryl Powell has named eight players who did not feature in the 60-6 home loss to Leeds Rhinos last Friday in his initial 21-man squad.
Alex Foster, who can play at centre or in the second-row, is in contention for the first time this year, after recovering from a biceps injury suffered in a pre-season game at Hull KR three months ago.
Full-back Niall Evalds, centre Michael Shenton, stand-off Jake Trueman, forwards Oliver Holmes, Adam Milner and Nathan Massey and full-back/half-back Gareth O’Brien could all return as Tigers aim to end a three-game losing run.
Half-back Danny Richardson, who was replaced in the first half of last week’s game, has been dropped and full-back/winger Greg Eden also misses out, after picking up a hamstring injury against Leeds.
Forward George Griffin will serve a one-match suspension and young second-rower Lewis Peachey also drops out.
Sosaia Feki and Grant Millington remain on Tigers’ casualty list.
Warrington are without Australian former Test star Greg Inglis who has a hamstring injury and is likely to be unavailable until next month.
Jason Clark has joined him on the sidelines after suffering a calf muscle strain in last week’s 62-18 demolition of Salford Red Devils.
Youngsters Ellis Longstaff and Connor Wrench have both been recalled from loan at Newcastle Thunder and are in contention for a call into the 17, along with Rob Butler, Mike Cooper and Josh Thewlis.
Tigers’ game follows the other semi-final, between Hull and St Helens, which kicks off at 2.30pm.
Castleford Tigers: from Evalds, Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Trueman, Watts, McShane, Holmes, Blair, Milner, Massey, Foster, O’Neill, Hepi, Clare, Sene-Lefao, Smith, Matagi, Turner, Martin, O’Brien.
Warrington Wolves: from Akauola, Austin, Butler, Charnley, D Clark, Cooper, Currie, Davis, Hill, Hughes, King, Lineham, Longstaff, Mamo, Mulhern, Philbin, Ratchford, Thewlis, Walker, Wrench, Widdop.
Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield).
Kick-off: Saturday, 5pm, at Leigh Sports Village.