Batley v Castleford: Young guns given green light against the Bulldogs

Jake Trueman.
Jake Trueman.
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CASTLEFORD TIGERS’ youngsters will have an opportunity to prove they can shine at senior level when they visit Batley Bulldogs tonight.

Coach Daryl Powell has named a young squad for the game which comes two days before his strongest-available team visit St Helens for the club’s final pre-season hit-out.

Seventeen-year-old half-back Jake Trueman, who joined Tigers this week from Bradford Bulls, will make his debut this evening, and off-season signings, centre Tuoyo Egodo and prop Daniel Igbinedion, are also in the squad.

Egodo and academy product Kieran Gill – a utility-back – will be playing their final game for Tigers before beginning a season-long loan at Batley’s Kingstone Press Championship rivals Oldham.

Tigers’ squad also includes half-back Tom Holmes and forward Will Maher, who will spend the 2017 campaign on loan at Batley.

Tigers returned from a week-long warm-weather training camp in Lanzarote yesterday and Powell said: “The camp was great.

“We got everything we wanted out of it and we are ready to go.

“We are going with a young team tonight and it’ll be a 19-man squad on Sunday.

“They are two good challenges for us.”

Batley begin their Championship campaign away to promoted Toulouse Olympique a week tomorrow.

New coach Matt Diskin’s team have won both their pre-season games so far, against Dewsbury Rams and Keighley Cougars, but he expects a tougher challenge tonight.

“A lot of their squad are knocking on the [first team] door,” he said.

“They have got some very talented kids there, but I’m not really fussed what Castleford put out, the focus is on us learning and developing.”

Batley Bulldogs: from Scott, Reittie, Smeaton, Hallett, Ainscough, Southernwood, Brambani, Hill, Leak, Rowe, Harrison, Manning, Walker, Davey, Brown, O’Sullivan, Bravo, Squires, Hayward, Bretherton.

Castleford Tigers: from Burns, Dixon, Douglas, Egodo, Fitzsimmons, Gill, Goodall, T Holmes, Igbinedion, Johnson, Kear, Maher, McLelland, Million, O’Neill, Render, Sheehan, Storey, Sweeting, Trueman, Turner.

Referee: Nick Bennett (Sheffield).

Kick-off: Tonight, 7.30pm.

Betfred Super League.'Castleford Tigers v Widness Vikings.'Castleford's Head Coach Daryl Powell.'23rd February 2017.

Boss Powell targets an 80-minute showing