THERE IS no danger of Castleford Tigers easing up over the next four games, surprise package Alex Foster insists.
Tigers have already lifted the league leaders’ shield, but have a quartet of fixtures to negotiate before a home semi-final, beginning away to Huddersfield Giants tonight.
There is nothing at stake on the Betfred Super-8s table, but Foster says individuals in the side have everything to play for.
“When you look through the squad, we’ve got a lot of players fighting for positions,” Foster pointed out.
“No-one wants to lose their place and see someone else come in and absolutely kill it.
“You would then find yourself sitting on the sidelines. It has been one of the best things we’ve had at Castleford this year, the strength in depth and the competition for places.”
Foster has added to that after beginning the season without a club. The former Leeds Rhinos and Featherstone Rovers forward moved to Bradford from London Broncos at the end of last season, but that deal fell apart when Bulls went bust.
He joined Tigers initially on trial and has since become a regular member of coach Daryl Powell’s 17, playing 13 games so far.
“It’s crazy,” he reflected. “At the start of the year I was on Bradford’s books and when administration happened it was a difficult time and a lot of us were left without clubs.
“Some of the lads through that period had to go back into employment doing what they used to do before rugby, or try and do something else.
“That was a tough time. I was weighing up options of what I was going to do with my future because there was nothing set in stone, nothing in place.
“I had rent to pay so it was difficult, but my family and friends and even my agent kept faith in me and an offer from Castleford came up to take me on trial.
“It was fantastic from the club because at the time I was actually injured and had a hernia, so it was a bit of a risk for Castleford as well.
“It felt like one thing after another, but since then it’s been amazing to be honest.
“I couldn’t have ever thought that from that time I would be here now with a league leaders’ medal, having strung more than a dozen games together for Cas at the top of the league.”
Tigers props Grant Millington and Andy Lynch will be rested tonight, with Matt Cook, Kevin Larroyer, Gadwin Springer, Larne Patrick and Jy Hitchcox all in contention for a recall.
Leroy Cudjoe (ankle), Sam Rapira (rib), Dale Ferguson (shoulder) and Oliver Roberts (leg) are all available for Giants after injury.
Daniel Smith and Tyler Dickinson drop out from the team that won 46-18 at Hull two weeks ago.
Huddersfield Giants: from McGillvary, Cudjoe, Gaskell, Brough, Rapira, Hinchcliffe, Wakeman, Ferguson, Lawrence, Leeming, Ikahihifo, O Roberts, Ta’ai, Clough, McIntosh, Mellor, O’Brien, Turner, Rankin.
Castleford Tigers: from Cook, Eden, Foster, Gale, Hardaker, Hitchcox, O Holmes, Larroyer, Massey, McShane, Milner, Minikin, Moors, Patrick, B Roberts, Sene-Lefao, Shenton, Springer, Webster.
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas (Warrington).
Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.