‘We only have 14 players left’ – Powell says Tigers on the brink

Daryl Powell admits Castleford may struggle to fulfil a number of upcoming fixtures.

The Tigers are down to just 14 fit players through a combination of injuries and positive virus tests.

Powell’s side are scheduled to face Leeds on Thursday night but that game is now in serious doubt.

“We have three players tested positive for Covid, another one stood down for 14 days because of family members testing positive, then another six stood down as a result of contact tracing,” Powell revealed.

“Then take into account 11 players from the first team squad who are injured. The squad is only so big, you only have 30+ players and you are looking there at up towards 20 players who are unavailable for different reasons.”

“I have never been involved in such a situation like this in my coaching career.”

Castleford, like many teams, have faced a hectic schedule that has involved playing three games in the space of a week, along with numerous last-minute fixture changes.

Recognising the physical and mental strain this has had on the players and staff, Powell says the club are really struggling to get by following the latest setbacks.

“This has really rattled us as a group,” he said. “We are in a bit of trouble. We have a significant number of players who are injured, some long term, some medium term.

“We have 14 fit players. We have three who will be looked at in the morning who are real doubts.

“It is a really tough situation to be in. Obviously, we want to play the game. We have had to do all sorts to keep our season going.

“Playing games in Lancashire four days after a really tough fixture in the Challenge Cup. We have had fixtures moved all over the place but we have just got on with it.

“How this is going to pan out in the morning, I do not know.

“We have serious doubts over three players who are battling through injuries and we have been rattled from all sorts of angles here.

“It is unprecedented really, across rugby league.”

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