Powell sees international future for Castleford players

Mike McMeeken, tipped to be a potential England player.
Mike McMeeken, tipped to be a potential England player.

Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell believes there are a number of players in his squad capable of pushing on to earn England call-ups for the next internationals at the end of the 2016 season.

Powell was disappointed that no Tigers players featured for England against New Zealand and France, but the fact they missed out can give them motivation to get in next year when the Four Nations resumes.

He said: “There’s a few in there who’ve got potential to go on to play for England, people like Mike McMeeken.

“Obviously there’s Lynchy. Everyone sees him as being too old, but he’s probably been the best front rower in the comp on a consistent basis.

“Obviously England are well off for front rowers, but I think Andy Lynch is a better player than Mike Cooper.

“We’ve got a lot of potential in our team for people to be playing in international games. Some of them are the young guys actually who look like future internationals to me so we’ll see how they develop across the year.”

One of the players with international ambitions is new signing Ben Crooks, who will be hoping to follow in Luke Gale’s footsteps by pushing for honours in his first season with Castleford.

Powell reckons the Tigers have a top player if he can recapture the form he showed in his last season with Hull before going to Australia.

He said: “I played with Ben’s dad and he wasn’t a bad player was he? Ben’s completely different to his dad. He’s pretty skilful as his dad was, renowned for those offloads, his ability with the ball, he was a smart player who understood the game. But Ben plays in a different position, he’s got pace and he’s got a good opportunity here, we’re the perfect the club for him.

“The half-backs we’ve got and the creativity there, for him to be feeding off the back of that and using his speed and ability. He’s put a bit of weight on since he last played in the UK so he’s stronger and we’re aiming to get him back to where he was.”