Castleford Tigers are set to field another strong side in Sunday’s pre-season test at Wakefield Trinity with a number of senior players ready for their first run out after missing the Boxing Day game against Hull.
Forwards Andy Lynch, half-back Ben Roberts and winger Joel Monaghan are all pencilled in for a return after long term injuries while playmaker Luke Gale and prop Matt Cook will return to action after being unavailable for the Hull match.
Head coach Daryl Powell is keen to see all five in action as he begins to formulate his team for the opening Super League game next month.
He told the Express: “We will be fielding a strong team. There’s quite a few players in there that haven’t played yet, unless they have still got injury problems that prevent them from taking the field.
“Andy Lynch, Ben Roberts, Luke Gale, Matt Cook and Joel Monaghan should all be out there for their first game. Some of our young boys will also get a chance. It will be a good mix and we’re definitely looking forward to it.
“Tuoyo Egodo will get more of a run in the centres and there will be some people who played on Boxing Day who will be out there as well.
“The youngsters did really well against Hull. I thought Luke Million, in particular, was a real stand-out. He looked sharp and defended well.
“We’ve got some good young players at the club now, people like Callum McLelland, who’s really young and looks good. He won’t be available to play at Wakefield on Sunday, though, as he’s got a concussion.”
Powell is hoping to see players put forward their case to be included in the opening Super League match.
He said: “Different players getting a hit out will be good and it will be about people putting their hand up to start.
“There’s a couple of spots available for our first game against Leigh and there’s two ways you can put yourself forward for that. Obviously in practice, but the main one is when you get out there on the field.
“I would expect Wakefield would put a strong team out so it should be quite an even contest, which will be good.
“They played well against Leeds, I’ve watched that game, and they will be coming into Sunday’s match with a bit of confidence. They’ve got a bit of stability about them at the moment.
“Local rivalry is always in people’s minds, but I just think they will be looking to improve and do well and I think they will be looking to put a marker down. I know it’s early-ish in pre-season, but I think they’ll be coming after us so we need to be ready for that.”