Castleford Tigers boss Lee Radford on Jake Trueman replacement and latest bans

Castleford Tigers head coach Lee Radford has vowed to find the answers from within after Jake Trueman's serious knee injury left him short of options in the halves.

The 23-year-old was forced off during last week's win over Huddersfield Giants and a scan confirmed that he damaged his ACL, meaning he has played his last game for the Tigers ahead of an off-season switch to Hull FC.

Only five days earlier, versatile pivot Ryan Hampshire suffered the same injury against Catalans Dragons and was also ruled out for the rest of the season.

With Gareth O'Brien two weeks away from a return and Callum McLelland still struggling with a knee issue, Danny Richardson is Castleford's only recognised half-back for Saturday's match against Leeds Rhinos at Magic Weekend in Newcastle.

Lee Radford has selection issues ahead of Magic Weekend. (Picture: SWPix.com)

The Tigers will not, however, dip into the recruitment market.

When asked where Trueman's injury left him in terms of half-back options, Radford replied: "All over the shop.

"Obviously somebody is going to have to play out of position. Again, it's just another challenge that we're facing and are going to have to work really hard to overcome.

"We'll fill it from within. There are some blokes in there that are capable of doing a job for us."

Jake Trueman has played his last game for Castleford Tigers. (Picture: SWPix.com)

Since Trueman suffered his injury, some unlikely candidates have stepped forward to fill the void.

Radford has yet to decide who will get the nod alongside Richardson, although he ruled out turning to full-back Niall Evalds in his first outing since mid-April.

"Wattsy (Liam Watts), Joe Westerman, Dan Smith, Greg Eden and Derrell Olpherts have all told me they've played there before so I'm spoilt for choice," joked Radford.

"If you asked Niall he'd say 'yeah', but I'd much prefer to play him in his recognised position."

Ryan Hampshire sustained a serious knee injury against Catalans Dragons. (Picture: SWPix.com)

Jordan Turner and Alex Sutcliffe are also on the casualty list, while Castleford will be without Paul McShane and Nathan Massey this week after they were both handed one-game bans.

After seeing several players receive extra punishments for 'frivolous' appeals, the Tigers did not consider challenging the charges.

"The way the bans have gone this season, I think you cop a little bit more cash and get another couple of games added to you," said Radford.

"They've well and truly deterred anyone from doing that. I think we've seen warnings for similar incidents previously.

Paul McShane will miss out against former club Leeds Rhinos. (Picture: SWPix.com)

"It is what it is. You've got a load of injuries and then I get a Monday phone call saying I've got a load of bans as well. I forgot how difficult that was as a coach."

The suspensions may prove to be a blessing in disguise for Castleford, removing the temptation of fielding two key forwards in a local derby on a big stage at a time when they are carrying knocks.

"Ironically, both of them would have been struggling for this weekend anyway from a physical point of view," added Radford.

"Macca got a dead leg the week before then copped a whack on it straight away in the game against Huddersfield. Hopefully the week off will give him time to settle down.

"Massey is struggling with his hip flexor a little bit, so there's a chance they might not have made it anyway."