Hardaker left out of Castleford squad for Grand Final

Zak Hardaker.
Zak Hardaker.

Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell has named his 19-man squad for the Betferd Super League Grand Final - but has revealed a shock with news that full-back Zak Hardaker has not been included because of an unspecified breach of club rules.

The Man of Steel runner-up has been a huge hit since joining the Tigers from Leeds Rhinos, but will noit now be facing his former team at Old trafford on Saturday.

A statement from the Tigers said: *Zak Hardaker is unavailable for selection due to a breach of club rules. The club will make no further comment at this point as full attention is focused on Saturday’s Grand Final.”

Powell has made two changes to the squad that dramatically claimed victory against St Helens in the semi-final last week with Oliver Holmes and Jy Hitchcox returning.

He is delighted to be taking his team into the club’s first ever Super League Grand Final, saying: “The semi-final was an unbelievable game! You go through all sorts of emotions in a rugby league game but we’ve never been through as many emotions as we did in that game. I think this is why sport is so beautiful.

“Castleford was the club I grew up supporting, the place means so much to me, and to now be the head coach at the club I supported as a boy and to take this team into the Grand Final is such a great opportunity and we are in a great place.

“We have a great opportunity to finish the season off with the biggest trophy on Saturday night in front of a packed-out stadium at Old Trafford. I expect a real tough battle on Saturday, we have good quality players across the park and we’ll focus on us.”

The Castleford Tigers squad is:

18. Matt Cook

5. Greg Eden

34. Alex Foster

7. Luke Gale

25. Jy Hitchcox

11. Oliver Holmes

14. Nathan Massey

12. Mike McMeeken

9. Paul McShane

10. Grant Millington

13. Adam Milner

2. Greg Minikin

17. Junior Moors

21. Joel Monaghan

16. Ben Roberts

15. Jesse Sene-Lefao

4. Michael Shenton

19. Gadwin Springer

3. Jake Webster