Injury-hit Webster to end 12-month exile with Castleford

Castleford's Jake Webster.
Castleford's Jake Webster.
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Former New Zealand international Jake Webster is set to make his first Super League appearance for 12 months when undefeated Castleford host Hull on Sunday.

The 30-year-old centre’s last match for the Tigers was against his former club Hull KR last March, since when he has been dogged by knee and shoulder injuries.

However, he made his comeback playing for York on a dual-registration in Sunday’s Championship One match against Hunslet and is expected to figure in Castleford coach Daryl Powell’s plans for Sunday.

“He played about 70 minutes and did well,” said Powell. “It’s great to have him back on board. He’s a quality player and a big man with loads of experience.

“I’m really pleased to have him available again. It puts a bit of pressure on our centres, where we’re a little bit light at the moment with Ashley Gibson being injured.

“He will be in the squad and we’ll make a decision on Friday about what we’re going to do with him. He’s in with a strong chance of playing at the weekend.”

Powell, who intends to use Webster in the second row as well as centre, will be forced to make at least one change to the side that toppled champions Wigan on Sunday, with winger Kirk Dixon sidelined with a broken jaw.

“It looks like six weeks for Kirk,” said Powell. “He’s had his operation and he was in today. It’s a little bit swollen but he’s in good spirits.”

Richard Owen, who made way for Dixon’s return against Wigan despite scoring a hat-trick of tries in the previous win over Hull KR, is set for a recall, although Powell can also call on winger James Clare.

Meanwhile, Powell welcomed the three-match ban imposed on Wigan hooker Michael McIlorum for the tackle on Dixon.

“It was a little bit reckless,” he said.

“It’s not the sort of tackle you want to be seeing in our game.”

Championship club Dewsbury Rams have signed former Leeds Rhinos and Hull FC prop Ewan Dowes and taken Wakefield forward Lucas Walshaw on a month’s loan.

Dowes, 33, was a Challenge Cup winner with Hull and is joining the Rams for the rest of the season after leaving Workington, while Walshaw is back at the Tetley’s Stadium following a successful loan spell in 2013.

An RFL tribunal last night dismissed Keighley Cougars player-coach Paul March’s appeal against the four-match suspension imposed for questioning the integrity of a match official in a Kingstone Press Championship fixture against Doncaster last month.