Head coach Daryl Powell admitted to having several selection decisions to make ahead of Castleford Tigers’ return to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle to face Catalans Dragons this Sunday.
The Tigers will be without forwards Junior Moors and Jesse Sene-Lefao and they are awaiting news on a scan undergone by winger Greg Eden after he pulled up with a hamstring injury on his return to the team at Huddersfield.
But playmaker Luke Gale is expected to be fit after he sat out last Sunday’s game and forwards Matt Cook and Nathan Massey are back in contention to return to the squad.
Cas boss Powell told the Express: “Luke Gale rolled his ankle during the week so Jamie Ellis came in and did a pretty good job. He kicked the ball well and his goal kicking was generally good – we’ve got good options at half-back and it’s a really competitive position this year.
“Luke should be all right. He will train today and, fingers crossed, he will be okay for the weekend.
“It will give me a decision to make. Obviously Luke Gale will slot back in, but the right side half-back has been the position that nobody’s really nailed yet so that will be where I’ll have to make a decision.
“We’ve got a few options if Greg Eden is out. We’ve got James Clare, Jy Hitchcox is fit and available again and Garry Lo could come in. Tuoyo Egodo played well at Newcastle last week. There’s a few I can pick and I’ll weight that up this week.
“I need to watch Garry Lo’s game from the weekend and I’ll make a decision on whether to bring him back from Sheffield. James Clare has done okay for us and he’s played pretty well and been nice and solid so I’ll make a decision.
“Junior Moors got a couple of head knocks in the game at the weekend. He was all right after the first one, but couldn’t go back on after he got another and he will be unavailable this week.
“Matt Cook had a head knock the week before and missed the game, but he will be back in contention this week as will Nathan Massey. I left him out at Huddersfield as his performance the week before wasn’t to his standards.”
Powell was disappointed for last season’s top try scorer Eden after he suffered a recurrence of the hamstring injury that had kept him out of action for a month. He said: “Greg Eden was looking good and it was an awesome finish for the try he got. But he went off for a scan on Tuesday and we’ll know the results soon to find out what the problem is.
“We’re not sure how he’s going to come out of it. Obviously it’s a recurrence of a hamstring injury so it’s hugely disappointing for him, but we’ll see when we get his scan back how bad that’s going to be.” Back rower Joe Wardle came through his comeback game okay, however, after also previously picking up a hamstring injury.
Powell added: “It was good to see Joe Wardle out there again. He ran some great lines in behind the ruck and made himself difficult to handle.
“He hadn’t played much rugby league, but he got through 50 minutes in the game so it was very pleasing from his point of view.”