Roberts set to return – but Holmes earns praise from Castleford boss

Tom Holmes races in for a try for Castleford Tigers against Leeds Rhinos at Magic Weekend.
Tom Holmes races in for a try for Castleford Tigers against Leeds Rhinos at Magic Weekend.

Half-back Ben Roberts is on course to return for Castleford Tigers against Widnes Vikings in the first of their Bank Holiday games.

Roberts missed the Magic Weekend win over Leeds Rhinos and was only able to play 20 minutes of the previous week’s cup tie with St Helens after aggravating his groin injury. But he has been back in full training this week and head coach Daryl Powell is hopeful he will be able to take the field against Widnes.

He told the Express: “Benny will have a full week’s training this week, which he hasn’t had for a while.

“Hopefully he’ll come through that and he should be available to play on Friday, that’s the plan.”

Roberts may return at the expense of Tom Holmes, but the young half-back has impressed his boss in the three games he has played.

Powell said: “Holmesy is doing well.

“Defensively he can stiffen up a little bit, but he finished his try against Leeds superbly well and in general he’s slotted in well.

“He’s been put under some pressure, but he’s been playing at Batley and I think that’s done a good job for him. It’s a good standard of rugby league and it’s helped him when he’s come in for us that he’s been playing regularly.

“He’s really held his hand up and we’ve won each game he’s played in – and in every game he’s done something that’s really positive for us. It’s a learning curve for Tom, but he’s doing well with it,

“You want your young players to come in and show that they are capable of playing in the team.”

Powell, meanwhile, will further freshen his squad up with two games in three days.

He added: “I’ll make a couple of changes probably for Friday’s game, obviously mindful that we’ve got two games in a short turnaround. I’m going to need to manage that a little bit.

“Kevin Larroyer will get an opportunity over the weekend, not sure which game yet. Gadwin Springer, who hasn’t played much football in recent weeks, will also come in.

“It will still be a strong team both games. We’re keen to win both matches over the weekend.”