Warrington Wolves coach Tony Smith has said he’s expecting Rangi Chase to feature against his side on Sunday – but says he’s delighted the former Man of Steel has been given a chance to resurrect his career.
Chase could be in line for a second debut for Castleford when the Tigers host Smith’s Warrington side this weekend, with the Wolves looking to consolidate their place in the top four with a win.
And Smith told TotalRL.com that he would not be surprised to see him feature – but says he’s hopeful the ex-England international can find his best form again at the Tigers.
“Yeah, I’m expecting him to play,” Smith said.
“If he’s fit and healthy I think he’ll go. They wouldn’t be bringing him back for no reason; they’ve had Paul McShane out on the edges defending and that’s not his rightful position – but he’s filled in and done a great job. However I’d guess Rangi would be close this week.
“I’ve enjoyed watching him play over the years and I’m pleased he’s been given another chance.
“Some people need a few chances and if he’s able to settle down and go back to Cas – which will be like home for him – and get himself back in order, then good on him and good on Castleford.”
In terms of his own squad’s fitness, Smith revealed he’s expecting to have a double boost on that front as he prepares to welcome back two key men – one from injury and one from illness.
“Kurt Gidley will get a fitness test later this week but the signs are good so we’re intending for him to play,” he said. “If not, Declan (Patton) will get another chance and he’s done ok without setting the world on fire. If he gets the gig this week he’ll be better again but I am expecting Kurt to make it.”
Smith continued: “Ryan Bailey pulled out last week with a gall-stone issue; he was in some real pain the night before the game and he was a late change but he’ll get the chance to force his way back into the team this week.
“He’s keen to play and keen to go somewhere where we played last year.”
Smith last week said he was grateful for a short turnaround as his side looked to bounce back to winning ways – and this week he said he’s pleased to have had the opposite.
He said: “That’s a big challenge for any club but we’ve been able to have a 10-day turnaround this week which has really freshened up.
“If the way we’ve trained is any indication then I think we’ll have a good chance this week.”