Wardles on collision course for Castleford game

Joe Wardle.
Joe Wardle.

Castleford Tigers star Joe Wardle could be set to go up against his younger brother for the first time when Huddersfield Giants are the opponents at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle tonight.

Jake Wardle, 19, has been making strides with the Giants in a breakthrough year with the Super League club and usually plays left centre, which could put him directly opposite 26-year-old Joe if he is selected in the same position as he was at Hull last week.

“It could happen,” said Wardle. “Obviously it depends on what team we put out and if he’s selected, too, but it’d be really nice if I did get to play against Jake.

“When we’re at home he’s always saying ‘I’d have you’ and, to be fair, skills-wise he probably would. But I’d just go out there to absolutely smash him and play dirty!

“He’s always around at our house. It’s like having three kids instead of two as he’s there all the time. He just scavenges off me.”

With Oliver Holmes picking up a hamstring injury, Wardle is more likely to return to the second row, however, and he sees his long term future in that position rather than at centre.

He said: “I only really like to cover there and I really do see my game more based as a back-row.

“I feel like I have more to offer as a back-rower and that’s just happened as I’ve got older. If I’m needed as a centre, I’ll do it.”

Wardle had spells at centre and back-row as he played his part in the Tigers’ 28-8 victory at Hull, but admitted the team had not been at their best.

He added: “You still want to get a bit of consistency. I think defensively we’re really on point at the minute; we’re really getting stuck into teams, being aggressive and our contact is really nice and tight. We’re definitely heading in the right direction in that sense but probably attack-wise we’ve some to work on.

“It probably didn’t show at the weekend but the ball was really wet and slippy. They must have soaked the field beforehand and that probably affected the game quite a lot.

“We do need to get a little bit better with our attack. We all put our hands up with that at the minute. We’re not at the bar where we need to be setting ourselves. We have a couple of games now to hopefully get ready for that semi-final.

“We just need to keep building but we’re definitely in a good spot.”