TOMORROW’S Super League encounter between Castleford Tigers and Hull will be a family affair.
Hull’s utility-player Jordan Thompson – who switched between the clubs in the off-season – is the brother-in-law of fit-again Tigers prop Nathan Massey.
“He is with my twin sister Hannah and we are really good friends, so it’s going to be one for the family,” said Massey, who is hoping to make his second appearance of the season, following a frustrating series of injury problems
The 24-year-old made his comeback as a substitute in Tigers’ dramatic 36-31 win over champions Wigan Warriors six days ago, which was sealed by Luke Dorn’s try 12 seconds from time, just a minute after the visitors had gone ahead through a drop goal.
Massey described it as a “fantastic” win, but just getting back on the field had been an even bigger battle.
“I had a really torrid pre-season,” he revealed. “I have had two groin surgeries, then I came back for the friendly at Dewsbury, three weeks post-op and I got a totally new groin injury three minutes into the game.
“It has been quite complicated. I’ve seen quite a few specialists and I was sort of going round in circles for quite a while, but hopefully now it’s all sorted and I can kick on.
“I had a couple of dark days, when I needed the boys around me and they really picked me up. It was really frustrating. I was ever present last year and only missed one game the year before, so I was absolutely gutted to miss the start of the year.
“It hasn’t been nice to sit and watch, but what can you do? Injuries are part and parcel of the game and it’s just something I had to deal with.”
Tigers, the surprise package of the season so far, will be aiming to maintain a 100 per cent winning record.
“We are pretty confident,” Massey said. “We’re four from four and I think we have shocked a few people at the start of this year, but we haven’t particularly shocked ourselves.
“We had a great pre-season and Daryl [coach Daryl Powell] has put a lot of confidence into the boys. We have got a bigger squad this year and competition and standards are rising within our team, but we aren’t too confident yet – we are only four rounds in and there’s still a long way to go.”
Former Hull KR centre Jake Webster has been named in Tigers’ match-day squad for the first time since suffering a knee injury a year ago.