Castleford Tigers: Luckless forward Mariano hit by extended injury lay-off

Frankie Mariano.
Frankie Mariano.
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UNLUCKY CASTLEFORD Tigers forward Frankie Mariano has suffered another injury setback.

The former Hull KR and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats player is likely to be sidelined for around a month after sustaining a quad injury during Tigers’ warm-weather training camp in Lanzarote.

Mariano played only five games last year, due to wrist and knee ligament injuries and coach Daryl Powell said: “He has pulled a quad, which has set him back a bit.

“He is about a month off, it is going to take him a bit of time. They are long-term injuries and take a fair bit of coming back from.

“It is disappointing, he has had a tough period, but hopefully he can get out of it and get some game time.”

Tigers have two trial games this weekend, visiting York City Knights tonight (7.30pm) and playing host to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Sunday (3pm).

Nathan Massey (wrist) and Tom Holmes (shoulder) are both unavailable.

Powell has named a mixture of first teamers and under-19s for tonight’s game. Senior players Ryan Boyle, Matt Cooke, Ryan Hampshire, Jy Hitchcox and Gadwin Springer are included, but the coach insisted that does not mean they are out of the picture for Tigers’ First Utility Super League opener at Hull KR on February 7.

“We’ve got a strong squad and I want to see everybody play over the weekend,” he said. “I don’t think it would be beneficial to see everybody in one squad against Wakefield.

“We are getting pretty close to the start of the season and I need to see people get a pretty good hit-out, rather than being on and off and changing the team every 15 minutes.”

Meanwhile, Batley Bulldogs, who beat Dewsbury Rams on Boxing Day, are at home tomorrow to North Wales Crusaders in their second trial game (2pm).

A match against a Heavy Woollen Select side was called off last week because of snow and coach John Kear said: “I think everybody accepts Boxing Day is too early with regards to season preparation.

“With having new pivotal players I feel we need at least two games.

“We are hungry to play [tomorrow] and Hunslet have agreed to play us on January 31, so losing last week’s game will not have interfered with our preparations too much.”

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