Castleford Tigers v Featherstone Rovers: 13 new faces named for pre-season opener

Thirteen off-season recruits are set to feature when Castleford Tigers play host to Featherstone Rovers on Sunday.

Tigers will unveil star signing Joel Monaghan, the free-scoring winger brought in from Warrington Wolves, for the 1pm kick-off, which begins their pre-season campaign.

Other new faces in the home squad are Ben Crooks, Ryan Hampshire, Greg Minikin and ex-Featherstone back Jy Hitchcox. Michael Channing will make his first appearance for Rovers against the club he left three months ago.

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Also named in Rovers’ squad are Misi Taulapapa, Anthony Thackeray, Scott Turner, Jonny Davies, Darrell Griffin, Colton Roche and Matt Wildie.

“I want to see where we’re at physically and see how new combinations go,” said Tigers coach Daryl Powell.

“There’s a couple of new half-backs in there. Tom Holmes is very young and had minimal experience in the first team and Ryan Hampshire will play at half-back.

“It will be good to see that combination. It will also be good to see where the players are physically.

“They will be up against some pretty strong players from Featherstone and they are looking to start off well this year.

“They’ve got quite a few new recruits in there who will also want to show what they can do.”

Featherstone coach Jon Sharp said “We are all looking forward to the fixture after working hard over the last couple of months in pre-season training.

“Obviously we are disappointed for the likes of Danny Craven, Tim Spears and Ian Hardman for missing out, but they are not far off from featuring in the remainder of our pre-season schedule.

“It does give others an opportunity though and it’s always good to get playing again. When you are training hard all week it’s always better when you have a game to focus on at the weekend.”

Sharp added: “We are itching to get going and see how the team gels on the pitch against quality opposition.

“There will be a number of players making their debut in a Rovers shirt so it should be a good run out for us.”

Castleford Tigers’ squad is from: Matt Cook, Ben Crooks, Brandon Douglas, Keiran Gill, Ryan Hampshire, Jy Hitchcox, Oliver Holmes, Tom Holmes, Lee Jewitt, Will Maher, Mike McMeeken, Paul McShane, Adam Milner, Greg Minikin, Junior Moors, Joel Monaghan, Ben Roberts, Ash Robson, Declan Sheehan, Gadwin Springer, Jake Webster, Brandon Westerman.

Featherstone Rovers squad is from: Louis Brown, Kyran Johnson, Michael Channing, Misi Taulapapa, Scott Turner, Anthony Thackeray, Will Milner, Darrell Griffin, Matty Wildie, Andy Bostock, Jamie Cording, Colton Roche, Jack Ormondroyd, Sam Day, Luke Cooper, Bradley Tagg, Jack Coventry, Steve Snitch, John Davies.