Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell has paid tribute to Jake Trueman after Sunday’s 21-12 victory over Warrington Wolves.
Trueman, who was the Albert Goldthorpe Rookie of the Year in 2018, suffered a frustrating 2020 season, which was disrupted by injury, but his performance on Sunday suggests he is back to his best, and Powell believes that if his form continues he will be a strong contender for England selection.
“The kid is a class kid and he did an awesome job today,” said Powell.
“He has come back more mature this season. You can see from watching him that he knows when to pass and when to run. With the World Cup at the end of the year he wants to be in contention and I’m sure he will be. He kicked really well with his short kicking game.
“But it wasn’t an easy game for us, and when we lost Gaz O’Brien to injury it rattled us a bit. We always seem to play against Warrington without one of our halves.
“We started the second half a little scratchy but we got it back.”
Powell faces the prospect of having to shuffle his halfbacks for Friday’s clash against Leeds Rhinos.
“Gareth won’t be able to play on Friday. But it’s a long season and he’ll get plenty of opportunities.
“Danny Richardson has been out with a wrist injury. He was in a cast for three weeks and he wasn’t quite ready to play (against Warrington), but he will play a massive part for us this year, as Gaz will.”
And Powell was also impressed by his major close-season signing.
“Niall Evalds is a class player,” he said.
“He spent a fair bit of time in pre-season building up his combinations. His pass selection for tries was great.”
Another player who pleased Powell was his other new signing Jordan Turner, who joined the club from Huddersfield Giants.
Turner rewarded his coach with two tries against the Wolves and during the game he and captain Michael Shenton were seen to be swapping positions.
“We decided to go with a system where Shenny and Jordan swap over,” explained Powell.
“How many times we use it remains to be seen. Jordan has been awesome and he’s really worked hard in pre-season.
“It was something we thought about when we lost Sosaia Feki and James Clare. The one thing about Jordan is he’s an unbelievable talker in defence. Not all wingers are fantastic at decision making, but he is exceptional.”
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