Five players returning from injury who will have a big impact in 2017

Michael Shenton (Castleford Tigers)

Shenton was cruelly forced from the field in Castleford’s first Super League game of 2016, and he wouldn’t make a further appearance.

The Tigers coped well with his absence, but they desperately missed his experience in a number of highly important games against teams in the top four.

With his influence and talent back at Daryl Powell’s disposal, Shenton is a major boost for Castleford, especially in the big-game environments that they must improve in if they are going to win trophies.

Daniel Smith (Huddersfield Giants)

Smith will feel like a brand new signing for the Giants this year.

A major foot injury restricted him to four games in his first season with the club, with his last appearance coming at the start of March.

However, he is back in full training, and Rick Stone has revealed how impressed he has been with the skills of the forward, who could be moved to loose-forward this year.

Stevie Ward (Leeds Rhinos)

The fact that Ward still made the England squad despite just returning to action speaks volumes about the character and talent of the man.

Ward’s nightmare year with a knee injury ended on a high by returning to action, and all the signs so far suggest he will use that momentum to take 2017 by storm.

Tommy Makinson (St Helens)

Makinson was one of many why fell victim to an ACL injury, which he picked up over the Easter period.

However, as the new season approaches, the clinical winger will be hoping he can make amends this year and recapture his scintillating best form.

Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors)

There has always been hype surrounding this man, and this year will be no different.

A couple of serious injuries have put his career on hold since returning to Wigan, managing just 16 appearances last year.

Once he returns later this year, however, there’s every chance that he will prove just why he is so highly-rated around the globe.