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Castleford Tigers’ opening loss sure to lead to changes, accepts Holmes

Castleford Tigers forward Oliver Holmes attacks in last month's friendly with Leeds Rhinos (Picture: Tony Johnson).
Castleford Tigers forward Oliver Holmes attacks in last month's friendly with Leeds Rhinos (Picture: Tony Johnson).
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CHANGES have been promised by Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell for this weekend’s visit of Widnes Vikings and forward Oliver Holmes feels he is right to wield the axe.

Last year’s runaway Betfred Super League leaders were crushed 46-6 at St Helens in their opening game of the new season, five days ago.

Powell has declined to comment in detail on his plans until he names a 19-man squad on Friday, though Joe Wardle, who missed last week’s game through injury, is 50-50 to feature and half-back Jake Trueman could be sidelined with concussion.

But Holmes stressed: “After a loss like that it’s hard for Powelly not to make changes.

“We have got a strength in depth here that I haven’t seen in any Cas team while I’ve been here, in about 10 years.

“So that means if you’re not on your game there’s somebody there who’s going to slot in and do a job.

“After the weekend’s performance I am sure Powelly’s going to rotate a few people out and people are going to get a chance.

“If they get a chance and take it they are going to stay in there.

“That’s what competition for places is all about.

“It will bring the best out of the team and individuals and that’s what will make us a champion team.”

Meanwhile, Stevie Ward is set to play his first game since last October’s Grand Final when Leeds Rhinos face Hull KR at Elland Road tomorrow.

Ward, who underwent shoulder surgery in the closed-season, has been named in Leeds’ initial 19-man squad.

Mitch Garbutt (dead leg) is also in contention, but Nathaniel Peteru (biceps) drops out.

Hull KR could be unchanged from last weekend’s loss to Wakefield Trinity, though Chris Atkin and Jordan Walne are also in contention.

Colton Roche could make his debut for Huddersfield Giants at home to Warrington Wolves tomorrow.