21st June 2018, 16:39 | super_league

Powell says depleted Cas excited by Wigan challenge

Powell says depleted Cas excited by Wigan challenge

Daryl Powell has backed his patched-up Castleford Tigers team to make life uncomfortable for Wigan Warriors in Friday’s rearranged Betfred Super League clash at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

Powell lost seven more players to injury after last weekend’s 24-24 draw with Hull KR, when the Tigers head coach was left with no substitutes.

Oliver Holmes, Mike McMeeken and Adam Milner are among the fresh absentees, handing opportunities to the likes of Will Maher, Gadwin Springer and James Green.

Castleford have managed to keep hold of their top-four spot despite the injury crisis and Powell is excited by the prospect of moving to within one point of the second-placed Warriors.

“We are battling through a fair bit of adversity injury-wise at the moment,” he said.

“Against Warrington we had a whole heap of players missing, against Hull KR we had no substitutes left for a significant portion of the game and we are going to be down 10 senior players this week.

“However, I am pretty proud of how we are dealing with it and this week’s game is a new challenge for us.

“We have trained this morning and we look sharp, we looked great so I am pretty excited by the challenge that’s in front of us. It will be difficult, but we are up for it.

“We’ve got recent history in terms of doing really well against top-four clubs.

“But it’s tough at the moment, that is for certain.”

Wigan, too, have selection problems with John Bateman and Sean O’Loughlin on England duty and George Williams facing up to six weeks on the sidelines with the knee injury that ruled him out of Saturday’s Test against New Zealand in Denver.

Young forwards Liam Paisley and Oliver Partington – a late call-up after Liam Farrell failed a fitness test – are in line for their debuts and are set to be joined in the team by young half-back Josh Woods.

Warriors head coach Shaun Wane said: “I just want to see Josh express himself because we’ve not really seen that yet.

“Liam is a punchy back-rower, he hits good lines and he’s tough.

“The chance to get him into the first team will give him a lift and he deserves it.”