Tigers’ precautions on Jesse Sene-Lefao

Castleford Tigers will be without Jesse Sene-Lefao this week after he was stood down for coming into contact with a person who tested positive for Covid-19.

League Express understands the forward has been kept away from the club as a precautionary measure.

With clubs being vigilant, given the recent outbreaks across Super League, the Tigers took no risks and decided to stand him down.

He was a notable omission from the Tigers’ squad in their victory over Salford on Thursday night, despite being named in their initial 21-man squad.

Sene-Lefao also will miss the club’s game with Warrington on Thursday, but could be back in contention for their Challenge Cup sixth round tie with Hull FC on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Powell declared their victory over Salford as significant in their quest for a top four finish.

“In the grand scheme of things we’ve played Catalans, St Helens and Wigan who have all been going really well,” he said.

“So it’s been a real tough reintroduction to the competition for us. We’ve fallen off the horse a couple of times in games and that battle with St Helens is where we showed our toughness as a team.

“The big thing for us is just consistency, because we do loads of good things and we’ve got good players; they’re just not consistent enough and don’t concentrate enough. But it’s a huge win for us, and it would have been really difficult if we’d lost to pick up the pieces and start finding our way into the top four.”

Powell confirmed that Cheyse Blair, James Clare and Jake Trueman were all close to returns, while Sosaia Feki’s latest injury setback shouldn’t keep him out for a prolonged period. Daniel Smith has a pec injury.

Meanwhile, forward Jacques O’Neill, 21, has signed a new one-year deal with the club.

“He’s a developing player with a lot of work to do and he needs to make sure he continues to strive hard to achieve his potential,” Powell said.

“Attitude wise he is spot on, he gets after things. He needs to stay focused and I’m sure he will, and if so he will end up being an outstanding Rugby League player.”

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