'I miss the crowd' - Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell can't wait for fans' return to the Jungle when Hull KR visit in Super League next week
It will be “awesome” to have fans back at matches next week, Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell says.
Tigers’ home Betfred Super League round six fixture against Hull KR has been put back a day to Monday, the date the long-standing bar on supporters in stadiums is lifted.
No rugby league games in this country have been played in front of a crowd since Tigers beat St Helens at the Jungle on March 15 last year, the day before the sport was shut down because of coronavirus.
“It would be hard to put into words how good it will be for everybody,” Powell said of the turnstiles reopening.
“It will be great for fans and players and coaches. I am fed up of hearing myself at games, I don’t want to hear myself any more. I miss the crowd, I can’t put into words how special it’s going to be.”
Capacity at the Jungle has been set at 3,600 and Powell reckons playing in front of fans will bring the best out of his side.
He added: “I speak to players a lot about the situation and they are so motivated by people being in the stadiums.
“It has been tough for them, probably more than anybody.
“It will be awesome for them and for everybody when we get crowds back in.
“It will be great, I am looking forward to it.”
Castleford have played 18 matches behind closed doors and reflecting on the past 14 months, Powell said: “I was looking back at the report when we played St Helens just before lockdown.
“I alluded to I didn’t know what it was going to be like or feel like in the future.
“It has been incredibly tough, but the one thing it has done is highlight how tough the sport is.
“You can hear all the contacts; you generally can’t hear them because of the crowd noise, but you hear the contacts.
“It is a brutal game and there’s been more of a sense of that for people who’ve been in stadiums without crowds than ever before.
“The players have been enormous, these boys across the whole of the competition have done special things and sacrificed a lot, some of it financial.
“The biggest sacrifices have been from the players and they have been fantastic all the way through.”
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