TEN OFF-SEASON signings will be on duty when Castleford Tigers and Featherstone Rovers square up at the Jungle on Boxing Day.
Tigers coach Daryl Powell has named ex-Leeds Rhinos half-back Cory Aston, who had a spell on loan at Rovers last season, in a 21-man squad.
Joe Wardle, signed from Newcastle Knights, is also included alongside ex-Hull KR prop Mitch Clark and James Green, a front-rower signed from Leigh Centurions.
Another former Hull KR player, half-back Jamie Ellis and winger James Clare – signed from Leigh – are both beginning their second spell at Castleford.
Half-back Tom Holmes, signed from Tigers, will feature for Rovers alongside ex-Castleford forward Scott Wheeldon, who has joined Featherstone from Sheffield Eagles.
Rovers boss John Duffy will also give a run-out to stand-off Martyn Ridyard, who played for Huddersfield Giants last season on loan from Leigh, and ex- Swinton Lions winger Shaun Robinson, as well as trialists Gareth Gale and Danny Maskill.
Powell said: “I’m really looking forward to the challenge and to seeing the players get out on the field.
“They’ve been working exceptionally hard in pre-season training.
“The squad I have chosen has a good mix of some of the young players who are coming through at our club and some of our new signings with real experience. It will be a good challenge for us.”
Wardle played mainly as a centre for Huddersfield before moving into the back-row when he joined Newcastle.
“I’m really looking forward to having my first hit out with the boys,” he said.
“We’ve been back in pre-season for a while now and everyone is itching to get back on the pitch.
“I’ve heard lots about the local rivalry and I’m sure Featherstone will put up a real challenge for us and it should be a great match.”
Tigers’ Boxing Day squad is: Cory Aston, Mitch Clark, James Clare, Matt Cook, Brandon Douglas, Tuoyo Egogo, Jamie Ellis, Alex Foster, Jy Hitchcox, Oliver Holmes, James Green, Will Maher, Jacques O’Neill, Jack Render, Jack Ray, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Robbie Storey, Jake Sweeting, Jake Trueman, Calum Turner, Joe Wardle.
Rovers’ squad is: Anthony Thackeray, Brad Knowles, Connor Farrell, Danny Maskill, Frankie Mariano, Gareth Gale, James Lockwood, John Davies, Josh Hardcastle, Keal Carlile, Luke Briscoe, Luke Cooper, Martyn Ridyard, Matty Wildie, Misi Taulapapa, Sam Brooks, Scott Wheeldon, Shaun Robinson, Tom Holmes.