Castleford coach Daryl Powell insists he’s excited, not nervous, to see how the first real test of his squad’s depth shows up tonight.
The Tigers have been predominantly in good health for most of this season – but tonight they are without a host of key players for the trip across West Yorkshire to face Huddersfield.
Cas are without England stars Mike McMeeken, Luke Gale and Zak Hardaker, while Ben Roberts is out injured, meaning opportunities for some of his fringe players this evening. Yet Powell says he’s looking forward to seeing what they do.
He said: “Tom Holmes will come into the squad; he hasn’t played this year but he played a few times last season and handled the job really well.
“I’m confident we’ve got what we need but I think it will be interesting and exciting to see the different team we’ll have out there this week.”
There are also likely to be debuts for Alex Foster and Kevin Larroyer this evening.
“We’re down into the squad and with players who aren’t perceived to be as high quality as the internationals for obvious reasons,” Powell said.
“Everyone has got an opportunity; Alex Foster, Kevin Larroyer, people who haven’t played yet, they get an opportunity and we’ll see what they’ve got. That’s the excitement for me, to see what those guys offer us.”
The Tigers hammered Huddersfield last month at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle: but Powell is expecting a much sterner test this evening.
He said: “We played them a few weeks back and we were too good for them on that occasion but they had a good win last week.
“Danny Brough is back and he’s pivotal for them, he’s a massive influence and he’s spraying the ball about. He’s huge.
“(Sebastine) Ikahihifo is another, he’s carrying the ball really strong and Jake Mamo has added a new dimension to them too, so we’ll be facing a team that will be much more confident than the one we played four weeks ago.”