Star Jake Trueman talks about his Castleford Tigers future and the return of fans for Hull KR Super League clash

Hot property Jake Trueman admits he is “not sure” where his long-term future lies, but insists all his focus is on winning silverware with Castleford Tigers this season.
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The England Knights stand-off is out of contract next year and already being linked with a host of rival clubs.

Those include Warrington Wolves, who Tigers coach Daryl Powell will join when he leaves Castleford at the end of the current campaign.

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That means Castleford could face a fight to hold on to a player rated as one of the most exciting talents in Betfred Super League and asked about his future, Trueman admitted: “I’m not too sure yet.”

Jake Trueman celebrates with Tigers' fans after scoring against St Helens at the Jungle last year. Picture by Tony Johnson.Jake Trueman celebrates with Tigers' fans after scoring against St Helens at the Jungle last year. Picture by Tony Johnson.
Jake Trueman celebrates with Tigers' fans after scoring against St Helens at the Jungle last year. Picture by Tony Johnson.

He said: “I’ve got next year at Cas, so at the minute I’ll be here.

“I’m not too sure what happens after that. I’m just looking to win something this year with Powelly leaving.”

Trueman and his teammates will play in front of a crowd for the first time in 427 days when Hull KR visit the Jungle in Super League round six on Monday evening.

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Tickets are restricted to Castleford fans and all 3,600 were snapped up by the end of last week.

“It’s massive,” Trueman said of having supporters back at matches.

“I’ve seen a few players say it’s not the same without them and that’s absolutely right.

“It adds a lot to the game and the support we will get should improve us.

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“It feels like a new start, almost a new season, because it has been well over a year since we played in front of crowds.

“I think they add an extra one or two per cent to your game and improve you, especially if it’s just your fans supporting you.

“That atmosphere lifts you in a tough part of the game.”

That said, Tigers’ job hasn’t changed.

With four wins from their opening five Super League games, Castleford are hot on the heels of top two St Helens and Wigan Warriors and Trueman insisted having fans at the match is an “added bonus”.

He stressed: “It’s a big game and we still need to win.

“We need to pick up points if we are to keep up with Wigan and Saints, who are flying at the minute. It’s a massive game for us.”

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It took Tigers 99 minutes and a dramatic fightback to beat Hull KR when the sides met in a Challenge Cup tie last month and Trueman is expecting another battle.

“They are an attacking team and they’re hard to deal with,” he warned.

“They tore us apart in the first half of that Challenge Cup game.

“We let them play and get where they wanted, so we can’t do that this time.”

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Of his own form this year, Trueman added: “I feel like I’m going all right, pretty steady.

“I and the team as a whole haven’t really hit our straps yet, but we’re grinding out wins, which is nice.”

Tigers are without forwards Liam Watts (suspended) and Grant Millington (knee injury).

James Clare will play for the first time this season and Tyla Hepi, Lewis Bienek, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Sam Hall and Lewis Peachey are also vying for a place in Tigers’ 17.

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Will Maher, who has recovered from a hamstring injury, could make his first appearance of 2021 for Rovers.

Fellow former Tigers players Ben Crooks and Greg Minikin are in contention for a recall, along with Will Dagger and Jimmy Keinhorst, but Ethan Ryan (wrist injury) drops out.

Castleford Tigers from: Evalds, Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Trueman, Richardson, McShane, Holmes, Milner, Massey, Griffin, Hepi, Clare, Sene-Lefao, Smith, Turner, Bienek, Peachey, Martin, S Hall, O’Brien.

Hull KR: from Quinlan, Crooks, Minikin, Kenny-Dowall, R Hall, Abdull, Parcell, Sims, Takairangi, Linnett, Hadley, Litten, Lawler, King, Storton, Dagger, Milnes, Maher, Johnson, Mustapha, Keinhorst.

Referee: Marcus Griffiths (Widnes).

Kick-off: Monday, 7.45pm.

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