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Powell discusses injury situation and praises one signing in particular

Gareth O’Brien limped off for Castleford in last weekend’s victory over Leigh, but head coach Daryl Powell has said it isn’t as bad as the club first thought.

“He’s not too bad; initially we thought he would be out for a while and he’s got a fair bit of swelling at the top of his knee, but it isn’t as bad as we first thought,” Powell stated.

“Halfback wise, we’re going to have a change again and we’re going to have a think about the different permutations – we’ve got a few injuries at the minute which is making things harder for us.”

Danny Richardson has also been sidelined for the Tigers in recent weeks, but Powell isn’t too despondent given how well others have filled the gaps left by injured stars.

“The game is really tough and you’re going to lose players here and there, but we’ve been playing really well and anybody that has stepped into the slot like Jordan Turner did last week when Gaz got injured have done a great job.

“I can’t complain with the team, everyone’s carrying a back on the bench and it is proving invaluable because backs are getting injured on a regular basis.

“Turner has been invalauble, he’s got a new lease of life at the moment whether on the wing, halfback or in the back row – you can pretty much play him anywhere and players like that are really important for the team.”

Another player that has shifted position in his time at Castleford is Cheyse Blair, who came to the Jungle as a centre, but is now a fully-fledged back-rower.

“When he was playing in the centres, he’s not like the sort of centre like Michael Shenton who’s beating people and back-row is an obvious place for his great line running.

“He’s a big player and it was an obvious change for Cheyse.”

Powell believes the challenge at Wigan is going to be the hardest game of the season so far, but he is confident his players can rise to the occasion.

“You’re going away to Wigan and they’ve been going really well and they’ve got some key players playing outstanding well.

“Wigan are always really physical and we know what we need to do when we get there – these are the big challenges in front of us.

“It’s always difficult there, we’re always trying to make statements for ourselves and this will be a key game for us and I’m really confident when we walk onto the field that we’re going to be super competitive.”

Daryl Powell does believe that Wigan will have identified one of his players as the star of the show once the first whistle has sounded.

“I’d expect Wigan to put Truey (Jake Trueman) under pressure and come after him; he’s started the season exceptionally well and though it’s early days, I’m certain he will press his claims for England if he keeps doing what he’s doing.

“It’s all about being consistent and Truey is a quality young halfback – he’s going to have some challenges throughout the year and I’m looking forward to seeing how he handles this one.”

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