Shenton happy with delayed start to season

Captain Michael Shenton hopes the later-than-usual start to the season will help Castleford Tigers hit the ground running as they aim to rekindle their quest for honours.

The Tigers lost nine of eleven games following last season’s resumption, finishing a disappointing eighth in Super League and exiting the Challenge Cup at the last-16 stage.

They won five out of seven in February and March, seeing off St Helens in their last game before lockdown, and Shenton says the aim is to match that kind of consistency.

“The later start has been good,” said the 34-year-old centre, who is going into the last year of his current contract.

“We’ve had the opportunity to do some additional work on the training ground, and hopefully the pitches will be a bit drier and faster than they would have been back in February.

“I would be very happy if we could start in late March every year.”

While prop Suaia Matagi will miss the start of the season with a calf injury, his fellow frontrower Lewis Bienek and other new arrivals, fullback Niall Evalds and versatile Jordan Turner, should be available against Warrington on Sunday week, March 28.

Both Shenton and Evalds were tryscorers in the Tigers’ victory over Hull Kingston Rovers on Sunday, in a pre-season match that doubled as Adam Milner’s testimonial game.

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