Castleford Tigers’ Oliver Holmes is enjoying leading by example in defence

HIS defensive prowess is already renowned in Betfred Super League but Castleford Tigers’ Oli Holmes is enjoying some extra responsibility in that department this season.

Leadership: Experienced Castleford Tigers forward Oliver Holmes. Picture by Isabel Pearce/

The England second-row has been in stellar form during the West Yorkshire club’s fine start which saw four successive victories before Wigan Warriors finally halted them last week.

They will look to quickly start another winning run at Salford Red Devils on Friday with Holmes also seeking to continue his impressive returns.

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The 28-year-old explained how coach Daryl Powell has managed to bring out more in his game.

He said: “I am happy with my form. I had a great pre-season and a good off-season as well which has led me to that.

“But I’ve also had a different role within the team, a leadership role which has really grown my game this year and my responsibility within the squad to drive standards.

“If I’m there driving standards I’ve got to be out there setting them on the field and that’s what I’ve been aiming to do: lead by example and lead the team.

“I’ve really been enjoying that.”

Charged: Leeds Rhinos utility player Richie Myler is facing an RFL Disciplinary tonight.

Holmes, who has played more than 200 games for Castleford since debuting in 2010, added: “I’ve been in or around the leadership squad for the last three or four years.

“But it’s now been broken down into different segments.

“You have your defensive captains, cultural architects – who drive how the club is run and what it wants to look – and then your decision-makers.

“I’m on the defensive captains side of it all. Defence is a strong part of my game and it’s something they wanted to be a little bit more player-led.

“It is something we have really focused on and defensively we have been pretty good.”

Castleford, though, will be without Tyla Hepi at Salford after he received a two-game ban for a Grade C dangerous contact in the 22-12 defeat at Wigan.

Leeds Rhinos’ Richie Myler faces the RFL disciplinary panel tonight after receiving a Grade C charge and two-game penalty notice for questioning the integrity of a match official at Hull KR.

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