Castleford Tigers fitness update as ex-Leeds Rhinos man ruled out of clash with former club

Aaron Bower
Craig Lingard

Castleford Tigers head coach Craig Lingard - Alamy

Castleford Tigers will be without former Leeds fullback Luke Hooley for their meeting with the Rhinos this Thursday, Craig Lingard has confirmed.

Hooley left the field in the closing stages of the Tigers’ win against Batley in the Challenge Cup with a shoulder problem, and Lingard has revealed that Castleford expect to be without him for up to a month.

Scans will determine the full extent of the injury but Lingard conceded: “It might be similar to what Rowan Milnes did in the friendlies, which kept him out for four or five weeks.

“We are hoping it’s not massively long-term, but we don’t think it’ll be a week or two. It’s more likely, I would imagine, to be around a month.”

The injury to Hooley means another former Leeds man, Jack Broadbent, will start at fullback on Thursday evening – and Lingard believes that Broadbent’s performances in the role have helped up Hooley’s levels in training after a slow start to life as a Castleford player.

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“Jack Broadbent has started the last couple of games and we’ve seen a bit of a change in Luke – his intensity in training has risen,” Lingard said.

“I’ve had a chat with Luke and he admitted himself his performances weren’t to the standard he wanted them to be at. That competition for places, with Jack dropping into the full-back role, gave him a bit of a lift; he was training hard to get back into the side and it’s disappointing for Luke he has picked up this injury.”

Hooley’s injury is not the only blow from the Batley game either, with half-back Rowan Milnes ruled out of Thursday night’s game due to a hamstring problem. Danny Richardson will replace him.

“He did it in the first half; we had a look at him at half-time and he went out and kept it moving,” Lingard said of Milnes. “He said it was fine, but he has pulled up a little bit weak after that game so there’s no point risking him. Danny was 18th man and he will come in for Rowan. We’ll look after Rowan and make sure there’s no long-term damage to him.”

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