CASTLEFORD Tigers coach Daryl Powell says he must “look after” Michael Shenton with his captain left out of Friday’s derby at Leeds Rhinos.
Although he finished the match, the England centre picked up a slight knee strain early on in Sunday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat at Hull FC and won’t be risked at Headingley. That loss ended Castleford’s eight-match winning run but the Super League leaders will look to make an immediate return to winning ways when they head to third-placed Rhinos.
“Michael Shenton won’t make the game as he’s got a little bit of an aggravated knee,” said Powell, about the 30-year-old who has scored six tries in 17 games this term and created numerous others for prolific winger Greg Eden.
“That’s disappointing for us obviously but it is what it is. He doesn’t miss many Shenny and we need to look after him but it’ll probably just be a week he sits out.”
Jy Hitchcox or Joel Monaghan will come into the side, possibly on the wing with Greg Minikin moving to centre.
“I’ll make a decision tomorrow who goes there,” said Powell. “Jy Hitchcox went really well when we played against Saints so he’ll probably get an opportunity and Minikin obviously plays in the centre, too, and been great in there for us so we have plenty of cover.
“We’ve also got Gadwin Springer coming back into the squad and he’ll beef us up in the middle of the field which is good for the pack.
“He tore his hamstring scoring against Widnes (in May) and this is his first game back so I’m looking forward to seeing him play.”
The France prop comes in for Andy Lynch who is omitted from the 19-man squad, Hitchcox taking Shenton’s spot in the only other change.
For Leeds, full-back Ashton Golding hopes to be fit after missing the Challenge Cup quarter-final win over Featherstone with a hamstring problem but Carl Ablett is out with injury.