Powell hints Ben Roberts likely to feature from bench upon return from injury

Ben Roberts’ place in the Castleford side upon his return from injury could well be from the bench as a utility.

Signed initially as a half-back – where he starred in last year’s League Leaders’ Shield triumph – before reverting to fullback at the start of this year, Roberts has become renowned for his versatility throughout his career.

And with in-form Jake Trueman likely to partner the returning Luke Gale this weekend, that versatility will be put to the test against Catalans on Saturday when Roberts, like Gale, makes his return from injury.

It means the half-back pairing that starred together in large parts of 2017 will be broken up, with Powell keen to reward Trueman’s consistency while Gale and Roberts have been absent. “Luke and Benny are completely different players. Luke is an 80-minute player, but Ben is a white-fibre athlete,” Powell commented.

“He’s got a fair bit of speed about him, and he can do a little bit all over. He can play centre, he can go in at 13 and do a job and he can obviously play half-back. The work that Jake has done this year has been phenomenal so Truey and Gale will start and then we’ll see where Benny fits in. It’s always a little flexible – but he will play a part somewhere and he will be very dangerous.”

Powell has also insisted that, as Castleford look to solidify their position inside the top four in the coming weeks, there is no pressure on the star duo to return to top form straight away.

He said: “Competition for places is as good as it’s been for a long time now which can only be a good thing.

“Him and Benny are fresh because they haven’t played a lot this year, but they’ve got to find some game-speed and that can take a little bit of time.

There’s no pressure on either of them to come out of the blocks all-singing, all-dancing. They’ve just got to do simple things well and build themselves into their best form.”