Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell expects under-pressure Hull KR to launch everything at his side tomorrow.
Much has been made of Rovers’ injury problems and woeful pre-season form, but their opponents are not being lulled into a false sense of security ahead of their first Super League outing of the campaign.
Powell said: “I think they will bring a bit of fire and brimstone, if I’m honest.
“I’m expecting them to come out pretty heavy, come after us and see where it takes them.
“They have some smart players in there – Albert Kelly’s pretty special, I like Ken Sio at the back and the pack’s going well.
“(James) Greenwood looks like he’s improved as does (James) Green.
“They are pretty big and physical and have got some real speed with people like (Kieran) Dixon while (Josh) Mantellato’s a little different on the other side,” he said.
“I think they will come after us but we’re aware of that and know we need to start well.”
Rovers have opted against selecting Adam Walker, the 24-year-old prop who was earlier this week charged with two offences of attempting to engage in sexual activity with a child.
The club said he would remain available for selection but Robbie Mulhern, the young prop signed from Leeds Rhinos, is preferred in the 19-man squad instead.Also sidelined are Terry Campese, Liam Salter and Kevin Larroyer.
Powell, meanwhile, has selected three of his new signings in his own preliminary squad – former Warrington Wolves and Australia winger Joel Monaghan, ex-Hull FC centre Ben Crooks and Ryan Hampshire, the young half-back on a season-long loan from Wigan Warriors.
There is no Andy Lynch, however, the veteran prop having been unexpectedly forced out of action.
Powell explained: “He had complications with surgery on his wrist which meant he had to have a further operation and will miss the game at Hull KR.
“We are, however, hopeful that he will be back available for the Wakefield game at home next weekend.”
Daryl Powell interview: Page 12