Reigning Man of Steel Paul McShane’s only hope of playing again this season looks like being if Castleford Tigers make the play-offs.
The unlucky hooker returned from an abdominal problem to start the Magic Weekend win over Salford Red Devils – only to be forced off by an ankle injury.
The former Leeds Rhinos man, who has proved a huge asset since switching from Wakefield Trinity in 2015, was ruled out of the trip to Hull KR and is rated extremely doubtful for Thursday’s Sky-televised home meeting with Warrington Wolves, Castleford’s key final regular-season fixture.
McShane was included in the Tigers’ 21-man squad that travelled to Hull Kingston Rovers on Sunday, but he failed to make the matchday 17. Tigers’ assistant coach Ryan Sheridan had warned that he would be unlikely to make it.
“We will have a look at him but it’s very unlikely he will be in,” said Sheridan who, along with team chief Daryl Powell, will join Warrington at the end of this campaign.
“But he is a quick healer, so hopefully it won’t be too long.”
That could mean that McShane will return to face Warrington this Thursday, but that depends on whether he can perform in training this week, although the must-win nature of the game, if Castleford are to make the play-offs, means that, as such a vital part of the Tigers, he could play even if not fully recovered.
The game will be Powell’s last in charge of the Tigers if they lose to Warrington.
Castleford last week confirmed that former Samoa international forward Jesse Sene-Lefao will leave at the end of the season.
The New Zealand-born 31-year-old, signed from Cronulla Sharks in 2017, is being linked with Catalans Dragons.
Sene-Lefao, who has also played for Manly Sea Eagles, has become a firm favourite with Tigers fans and recently made his 100th appearance for the club.
“There are not many words that I can say that would show my appreciation for Castleford and what I’ve achieved over here,” he said.
“Every moment is special and there is definitely pride in the jersey that I wear every week, that is something I’m going to miss.
“It’s also a jersey that is hard to put on every week, always challenging.”
Powell said: “Jesse is such a bundle of energy – the fans love him because of who he is and the way he goes about things.
“He’s a very religious man, I ask him to say a prayer for us every now and then depending on what’s happening.
“He has been a quality player for us, 2017 (when Castleford made the Grand Final) was a massive year for him. He was unbelievable that year and he’s consistently been in our team as a backrower since.”
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