Peter Mata’uita and Calum Turner are options at full-back for Castleford Tigers

CASTLEFORD TIGERS are assessing their options at full-back following the departure of Jordan Rankin earlier this week.

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 07/02/2020 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League - Castleford Tigers v Wigan Warriors - Mend-a-Hose Jungle, Castleford, England - Castlefordâ€TMs Jordan Rankin.

Head coach Daryl Powell has previously deployed Peter Mata’utia in the number one spot while academy product Calum Turner could also prove an adequate replacement for the Australian.

However, Powell insists he is in no rush to make a decision on the matter, with a return to action not likely until mid-August.

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“We are not 100 per cent certain and we are looking about to see what the options are,” said Powell.

15 March 2020 ..... Castleford Tigers v St Helens. Super League. Tigers head coach Daryl Powell. Picture Tony Johnson

“We have got a young full-back at the club in Calum Turner and Pete Mata’utia can play at full-back.

“I will make those decisions if we hopefully get back training and playing.

“We have got time to mull over these sorts of things.”

It was announced on Monday night that Rankin was granted a release from his contract due to his desire to return home to Australia for family reasons.

The former Gold Coast Titans player was unable to give Castleford a time frame for his return, leading to both parties agreeing a release him from his contract.

Rankin’s displays improved notably since his loan move to the Tigers in 2019 and he had played every fixture in 2020 before rugby league was shut down by the coronavirus in mid-March.

“It was disappointing, I was pretty keen for him to stay for the full season,” added Powell.

“He has been a really improving player for us but sometimes situations with families and things like that are difficult to work through.

“It was a tough one for him.

“I think we are a pretty compassionate club and we needed to do that for Jordan.

“We didn’t know whether he was going to come back at all and I needed to make a decision so I could plan.

“So we made the decision between us. It is what is best for Jordan and his family, it is tough for us but just have to get on with it.”

Powell has given his players a three-month training programme to prepare his squad for a potential return to action in August.

He added: “We have backed off from the players a little bit, it is more of a tick-over programme at the moment.

“They have got a three-month plan, with the potential for us to be playing in August.

“We have stepped off them a little bit, we want to make sure they are in a good place when we come back and not go too hard so we have nothing left in the tank when we come back in.”

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