Tigers hit by shortage of half-backs

Castleford Tigers forward Nathan Massey is having a further scan. Picture: Matthew Merrick.
Castleford Tigers forward Nathan Massey is having a further scan. Picture: Matthew Merrick.

Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is pleased with the way preparations for the new season are going, but admits there have been a few problems to overcome.

While he is not massively worried at this stage the head coach has been without a number of players and has been left particularly short of half-backs after Jamie Ellis and Marc Sneyd picked up injuries and Luke Dorn returned to Australia.

Powell told the Express: “Pre-season’s still going well, but we’ve had a couple of little things that have affected us.

“Luke Dorn has had to go home for a family issue that he’s had to deal with.

“I’m hoping he will be back this week, but it’s one of those situations where it’s a pretty big family issue.

“We’ve had a couple of half-backs injured, which has affected a little bit our preparation.

“After Jamie Ellis did his injury Marc Sneyd rolled his ankle in practice. He’s been in a boot and been unable to train fully for about 10 days. But he’s back this week and it will be good to get him back into training.

“We’ve been running around with just one half-back in Brett Seymour and it’s been interesting, but we have been working mainly on our skills sets and obviously weights and conditioning so it’s not had too big an impact to date.”

Castleford have had good news with the recovery of a number of players from off-season operations and injuries, but there are still concerns over centre Jake Webster and forward Nathan Massey.

Powell said: “Grant Millington’s progressing well and has been in a fair bit of practice as has Olly Holmes after his injury.

“We’ve got Adam Milner in full training now. Michael Channing had an operation as well and he’s back in full training.

“But Nathan Massey’s still got a problem and is having a further scan.

“Jake Webster’s not progressing as well as we’d like so he’s going to have further tests on his knee.

“It’s been a bit of a mixed bag, but overall things are progressing well.”

Powell explained that the pre-season training was set to be taken up a step now as it entered the second month.

He added: “Things are going well so far and the players are working hard. We’ve had four weeks now and we’re looking to take it to the next level.

“As we move our preparation forward and progress they are elements of our game we’ll be looking to develop throughout the year.

“The next month’s going to be key for us.”