Castleford Tigers v Featherstone Rovers: Attitude of new recruits gives Powell heart

All smiles for Tigers head coach Daryl Powell.
All smiles for Tigers head coach Daryl Powell.
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CASTLEFORD TIGERS boss Daryl Powell is looking forward to seeing some new faces in action for the first time when Featherstone Rovers visit the Jungle on Boxing Day.

Recruits Cory Aston, James Clare, Mitch Clark, Jamie Ellis, James Green and Joe Wardle are in Tigers’ squad and Powell said: “It is a good chance to get a look at most of the new signings.

“It [Boxing Day] is always a game that’s a mixed bag, a lot of young players in there and new signings looking to show what they can offer.

“That’s the big thing, new signings and young players.”

Round one of Betfred Super League is still six weeks away, but Powell reckons Tuesday’s game is worthwhile.

He said: “It is a tough time of the year to play rugby league, the way it is set up now, but it gives you a sense of where people are and who’s going to go well and you get some good feedback to give the players afterwards.”

Powell described his players’ efforts in early pre-season as “excellent” and he added: “The new boys are fitting in well, everybody is training hard and physically we look in good shape.”

Rovers boss John Duffy is keen to measure how his side fare against quality opponents.

“It will be good to see how we go in both attack and defence against Super League opposition in our first game,” he predicted.

“We’ll see how our structures go. We’ve been working hard on those.

“The lads are working hard in training and progressing really well.

“They are all buying in and looking really fit.

“Their attitude has been first-class and I’m just looking forward now to seeing how we can perform.”

He added: “The pre-season games are massive for us. Boxing Day will be a good marker for us to see where we are and what we need to do and fix up going into the other friendlies in the new year.”

Castleford Tigers: from Aston, Clark, Clare, Cook, Douglas, Egogo, Ellis, Foster, Hitchcox, O Holmes, Green, Maher, O’Neill, Render, Ray, Sene-Lefao, Storey, Sweeting, Trueman, Turner, Wardle.

Featherstone Rovers: from Thackeray, Knowles, Farrell, Maskill, Mariano, Gale, Lockwood, Davies, Hardcastle, Carlile, Briscoe, Cooper, Ridyard, Wildie, Taulapapa, Brooks, Wheeldon, Robinson, T Holmes.

Referee: Andy Sweet (Castleford).

Kick-off: Tuesday, 1pm.