Castleford Tigers v Huddersfield Giants: Injury-hit Eden’s on the right track

Greg Eden.
Greg Eden.
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A WEIGHT has been lifted off the shoulders of Castleford Tigers’ prolific try scorer Greg Eden.

The 27-year-old winger has played just five times for Tigers this year, scoring three tries, but back-to-back appearances in the wins over Leeds Rhinos and Salford Red Devils were a big step forward. It was the first time he has played in successive games this year and Eden is aiming to step up his comeback when one of his former clubs, Huddersfield Giants, visit the Jungle tonight.

Jamie Ellis.

Jamie Ellis.

“It has been a bit of a strange season for me, getting the same injury quite a few times and missing eight and six weeks at a time,” Eden admitted. “I’ve finally managed to string two games together and that is a weight off my shoulders. It has been frustrating, but I’m glad I’m back playing and I just need to get some momentum moving into the eights.”

Of his fitness woes, Eden explained: “Three separate times I’ve had a hamstring injury. There’s a tendon attached to the hamstring and I’ve had a grade two tear in that twice. That kept me out for six weeks the first time. I came back and played against Huddersfield and got a tear higher up.

“That was a grade two, but because it was the second one I had to stay out for eight weeks instead of six, to give it a bit more time. I came back against Hull KR away and it looked like I’d got through the game okay.

“I came off with 10 minutes to go as a precaution and it went in training a few days later. That was back to square one, the attachment again.”

Nathan Massey.

Nathan Massey.

Eden and Tigers’ medical staff have been working on ways of preventing similar issues in the future.

“I’ve had to change things, the volume of training I’m doing and things like that,” he said. “The first game back, surprisingly, I felt a bit fresher than the second one. I played full-back against Salford and there’s more running. My legs weren’t used to it. I got through the game, but I was tired.”

Giants will secure a place in the Super-8s if they win tonight and Eden is expecting an intense battle. He warned: “They’ve started hitting a bit of form since they got a new coach. We need to up our game from last week, we need to be better than that.”

From a personal point of view, Eden added: “I need to get back to how I was playing and get back as fit as I was last year. Hopefully that will come in a few games. We need to get a bit of consistency and get back into the swing of things.

“Hopefully we can finish in the top-four; we are in a good position to do that then get to Old Trafford and hopefully do better than last year.”

Jamie Ellis and Nathan Massey could return from injury tonight and academy second-rower Lewis Peachey is in line for his debut, but Joe Wardle (ankle) drops out. Giants’ squad will be selected from the players who beat Wigan Warriors last week, plus Jordan Rankin and Ukuma Ta’ai.

Castleford Tigers: from Clare, Clark, Cook, Eden, Ellis, Gill, Holmes, Laulu-Togaga’e, Massey, McShane, Millington, Milner, Moors, Peachey, Sene-Lefao, Michael Shenton, Trueman, Watts, Webster.

Huddersfield Giants: from Mamo, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Turner, Murphy, Gaskell, Brough, Lawrence, Hinchcliffe, Ferguson, Rankin, Roberts, Ta’ai, Clough, Smith, O’Brien, Mellor, McIntosh, English.

Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield).

Kick-off: Today, 7.45pm.