CASTLEFORD Tigers boss Ian Millward wants Rangi Chase in his side for Sunday’s game against Warrington despite speculation linking the Man of Steel with a move to Hull FC (writes Tony Harber).
Negotiations between the Tigers and the Hull club are believed to have taken place with Castleford looking for a substantial fee, but as far as head coach Millward is aware his star stand-off will be available for Sunday’s match at the Probiz Coliseum and could form a potentially exciting new half-back combination with Jamie Ellis.
In Chase’s absence Ellis shone on his Cas debut alongside Danny Orr in the 52-6 rout of Huddersfield, but Millward will still find a place in the team for his England man now that his club imposed suspension has been lifted.
He told the Express: “Rangi is back with us and we want him to play.
“He returned to training last Thursday and he’s trained all this week. At the moment it’s speculation about a move, it’s not fact.
“But I don’t want to comment too much about it because I’m not totally up to date on everything, I’m just coaching the team at present.
“We could have three players back – Rangi Chase and Rhys Williams, who is available again, and Brett Ferres, but he is 50/50 after his hamstring injury.”
Millward was pleased with the way his team played without Chase against Huddersfield and wants a repeat performance.
He said: “We did play well without Rangi in the last game and it was our best performance of the season.
“Across the park all 17 played extremely well. Jamie Ellis was outstanding, he gave us some direction and his kicking game with Danny Orr was good. They combined very well in the halves and played very well together.
“We’re now playing against the best teams in Super League in the next two weeks in Warrington and Wigan. We’re going to have play very well, but we did last game and if we can repeat that performance we’ll be fine.
“We’re looking for a continuation from the Huddersfield game and we’re at home again on Sunday where we’ve been playing well.
“We’ve won back to back games at home, which is good, and we’ve won five out of our nine games at home so it has not been a problem playing here.
“There’s a good buzz about the place and everyone’s got a smile. Confidence is good among the players.
“The break from the week to week has been good, but we trained for three days. It was good because some players have injuries and it gave us a chance to do some rehabilitation work on them and strengthen some areas. Our squad’s quite small so it was important work to take us through to the end of the year.”
Millward watched Warrington win their Challenge cup semi-final against Huddersfield last Sunday and saw a side getting back to their best form after a recent blip against Salford.
He added: “They were very good. They don’t have many weaknesses and have the strongest squad in Super League with a lot of talent everywhere.
“Every position and in everything they do they are in the top two in Super League, so it’s a big task for us. But it would be a great scalp if we could beat them and the more fans we can get down to the ground to support us the better.
“If we can start playing like we did last week and continue that then they will know they are in a game.
“Everyone’s got to try to dominate who they are up against, that’s the bottom line. If one person slips us this week we’re in trouble. It’s a game we need to concentrate on what we’re doing ourselves and not get too preoccupied by what they’re doing.”