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Five new signings set to feature for Castleford Tigers in very young squad for New Years Eve derby matchup

Castleford Tigers will take part in the final domestic rugby league game of 2022 when they head to the Millennium Stadium to take on Featherstone Rovers on New Years Eve and they’ll head in with a very young squad.

The team will be coached by Andy Last with head coach Lee Radford still having time off following his role as an assistant coach in Samoa’s brilliant World Cup run.

The side that Last has selected features five new signings in what is a very inexperienced and possibly experimental side.

Castleford announced the team news via their website and released the following statement with the squad reveal.

“The youthful squad will be looking to start the Fords’ pre-season campaign with a win over one of our nearby Championship neighbours, with matches against Keighley Cougars, Whitehaven and Huddersfield Giants to come ahead of the 2023 Betfred Super League campaign.

“Saturday’s game will present the Fords faithful their first chance to see new recruits Jack Broadbent, Bailey Dawson, Jacob Hookem, Ilikaya Mafi and Muizz Mustapha.

“Oliver Agar, George Hill & Elliot Wallis could be in line to make their first appearances for our senior side since joining the Tigers Reserves set up during 2022, as could Academy products Hugo Nikhata and Aaron Willis after making the step up into the First Team pre-season for the first time this year.

“Following the exciting announcement of Castleford’s partnership with Midland Hurricanes too, Conner Gilbey, Courage Mkuhlani and Ben Stead have stepped into the team to represent our link with the League One outfit.”

Despite Last’s decision to make sweeping changes new faces such as Gareth Widdop, Albert Vete and Jacob Miller won’t take part in the game with the experienced trio left out of the squad alongside the likes of captain Paul McShane.

The young Tigers will head to face a Featherstone side that will be well up for the derby game and has recruited incredibly well with World Cup internationals having signed for the Championship side including Papua New Guinea’s McKenzie Yei.

Sean Long will lead the side for the first time following his arrival and Rovers will surely fancy their chances against this youthful Tigers team.

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