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Remaining pre-season crucial for Tigers

January 07, 2015 10:20:27 UK

Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell says he is relishing the opportunity to take a closer look at his players during the club’s remaining pre-season fixtures.

The Tigers already have an 18-0 victory over local rivals Featherstone Rovers under their belt and will face Championship promotion favourites Bradford Bulls on Sunday.

We’ve got five pre-season games in total and they are all important for people to put a marker down.

Daryl Powell

Powell’s men will play five friendlies in total and the Cas coach insists that it’s important the players are given the opportunity to sharpen their fitness and show what they can do ahead of the start of the Super League season.

“Everyone’s looking forward to the rest of the pre-season games and it will be good to get on the field again. We’ve got five pre-season games in total and they are all important for people to put a marker down,” said Powell, who led his side to a Challenge Cup Final appearance and to within a whisker of the League Leaders Shield in 2014.

“The players will want to prove to themselves that they can make the team for the opening game in Super League. It’s a natural target for everybody in the squad and that’s why this pre-season schedule is so important.”

Powell’s plans for 2015 were dealt a blow with the announcement yesterday that talented winger Kirk Dixon will retire.

Dixon has taken the decision to hang up his boots with immediate effect following surgery on his neck, which would have required a minimum six-month rehabilitation period, with the possibility of further complications.

“Kirk is leaving with everyone’s best wishes and moving on to the next chapter in his life,” said Powell.

“I wish him the very best in his new challenge and thank him for everything he has done for the Tigers, it has been a pleasure to work with him.”

Cas can be backed at 21.00 to win the Challenge Cup this season, with Warrington Wolves 5.50 and Huddersfield Giants 11.00.

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