Castleford assistant coach Danny Orr is delighted that his team are benefitting from an influx of players during preseason.
“We feel ahead of where we were this time last year,” He told reporters.
“Hopefully we can continue that.
“They’ve done really well. Having Shenny back is really good.
“Andy Lynch has just come back in this week, and the lads have said how much of a difference it’s made already, with his communication and his talk, and his organisational skills for the forwards.
“Shenny is just a great leader round the place.
“Ben Roberts is probably still a little bit off in terms of his injury. But he’s not far off now.
“The new lads – Jesse Sene-Lefao been really good.
“Zak Hardaker has been outstanding. Absolutley outstaning. I know he’s had his problems off the field, but if you didn’t know that, you’d never guess it.
“He’s been the ultimate professional, he’s been brilliant, and I truly mean that.
“Greg Eden has come in from Brisbane – he’s done well.
“He can play at fullback, he can play on the wing for us, which gives us a lot of depth.
“All in all, the boys have settled in really well, and we feel we’re ahead of where we need to be when the season kicks off.”
Orr anticipates that all of the Cas squad will be available to start the season, after last season’s carnage in the treatment room.
Orr acknowledges that the Tigers were not the only club to be hit hard with injuries last season, but he also fel that injuries had a damaging effect on the campaign.
“It wasn’t just us last year, but we got hammered with injuries,” he said.
“A lot of other teams did.
“But I think with the way the squad is put together we’re strong in all areas, we’ve got five or six players who can play any position.
“Should we suffer any injuries, illness or suspensions, we’ve got good quality players who can fill in in a number of positions, which we’re going to need.”
The conditioning staff at the club have tweaked their routines slightly, but that was not a choice forced by the number of injuries last season, according to Orr.
“I think a lot of them were just freakish injuries, and it does happen,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate. We have changed little bits of the conditioning side, but not for that reason.
“In the continuous tests they do, [the players] are fitter than they were last year.
“Hopefully we can keep our boys fit and have a strong year.”