Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell has insisted that bringing Rangi Chase back to the club for a second spell is not a gamble.
Chase faced the media on Tuesday ahead of a potential second debut this Sunday when the Tigers face Catalans Dragons.
But Powell poured cold water on there being any risk bringing Chase back to the club, following a difficult couple of years which have included indifferent spells at both Salford and Leigh.
“No, not really,” he said when asked if the transfer a risk. “I don’t see it as a gamble having spoken to him and looked into his eyes. I see an integrity and a truth about him that means he’s in a good place.
“Time will tell of course about how good Rangi is in terms of getting back to his very best but I think he’s very capable of that. From what I’ve seen so far I think he’ll be awesome – it’s not a gamble.”
Powell also believes that Chase can hit the heights of the form which saw him crowned Man of Steel a few years ago.
“It’s great to see Rangi back. I spent a little bit of time with him when I was appointed and I had a good relationship with him back then.
“If we can get him back to anywhere near the level he was back then we’ll have a phenomenal player on our hands. He could be a great signing for us. He’s trained twice with us and he’s had a fair bit of time off so we’ll have a look at him this week ahead of Sunday.”
Powell was also asked about what impact Salford’s salary cap appeal could have on his side’s season – with a decision expected on Wednesday.
If Salford get all six points they were deducted earlier this year back by an independent tribunal, the Tigers would end up in the bottom four with immediate effect and be thrown into what is effectively a four-way battle to avoid ninth spot and a place in the Qualifiers.
“We’ve just got to get on with it. It’s out of our hands but if it does happen it creates a tough situation for us – but it’s been a tough year all year. It’s unprecedented the amount of injuries we’ve got with 12 blokes sat on their backsides. Whatever happens with them we’ve got to find a way to be where we want to be – there’s nothing we can control from their perspective.”
But Powell did admit the timing of the appeal – three games before the split – is not ideal.
“It’s not great, the timing,” he said.
“I don’t think it should have happened this way but there’s not much you can do about it. Whatever is right will happen at that appeal I’m sure – but again, we can’t do a lot about it. Losing that Salford game was a bitter pill for us but we’ll have to fight out of the situation we find ourselves in.”