Decisions to make for Castleford boss Powell

Joe Wardle, set to make his competitive debut for Castleford Tigers.
Joe Wardle, set to make his competitive debut for Castleford Tigers.

Head coach Daryl Powell admits he has key selection decisions to make before naming his Castleford Tigers team to take on Hull FC at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Saturday.

With back-rower Joe Wardle and outside back Greg Eden both looking likely to be available after hamstring injuries Powell has virtually a full strength squad to pick from and will weigh up all his options before selecting the final 17 to take on Hull.

He told the Express: “I’ve got a couple of calls to make on the squad and I’ll do that over the next day or two.

“I think Greg Eden and Joe Wardle will be available and those two guys coming back in strengthen us again.

“Joe obviously hasn’t played in a competitive game for us yet so it will be good to see him on the field.

“He’s a tough presence as a player. Defence has always been a big strength of his, he is a committed defender and he puts his body on the line.

“As a back-rower he runs really good lines, his understanding of the game is really solid and he brings competition to the back-row. With Ollie Holmes starting the season really well it’s a super competitive position.

“Back-row and front-row it’s really competitive for us this year, with a lot of depth and a lot of good quality players so it’s going to be really challenging.

“I’ve got to pick a team out of all that and particularly when we start hitting our straps then it’s going to be a tough team to pick.”

Eden’s return gives Powell another option at full-back, but he has not yet decided on whether he will stick with Ben Roberts, who gave a much improved display against Widnes after a disappointing opening game at St Helens.

Powell added: “Ben Roberts has been working exceptionally hard over the last week-and-a-half to get himself where he needs to be.

“We’ve got options at full-back obviously and I will make a call later in the week.

“Benny had an improved game against Widnes and there was some promising signs in there.

“I think the St Helens game caught him out. He came back from playing in the World Cup and I think it was just a bit of a shock to his system. He’s got to work his way out of that and fight hard to get himself where he needs to be.

“We’re not going to worry too much about it. Clearly there needs to be some improvement with certain players and Benny’s one of those - he understands that and is working hard.”