Runaway league leaders Castleford kick-off the Super League Super 8s with a home clash against St Helens on Thursday night (8pm).
Daryl Powell’s men are virtually guaranteed a place in the semi-finals and only need to win three of their seven games to secure the League Leaders Shield.
A challenge for them during the Super 8s will be ensuring their standards are kept even with the prize in the bag, to give them momentum for the play-offs and a possible debut Grand Final.
The Tigers welcome back trio Larne Patrick, Oliver Holmes and Adam Milner in place of Kevin Larroyer, Gadwin Springer and Jake Trueman.
Centre Jake Webster isn’t risked through injury.
Powell said: “This is the best possible start for us in the Super 8s because we can not dip our toes into the water against St. Helens with the way they are playing at the moment and I think we are really going to need to be a the top of our game to win this game. They are going to come and challenge us in every department.”
St Helens have been handed a massive boost by the return of scrum half Matty Smith to their squad from injury.
The youngster who has been deputising for the former Wigan, Salford and Crusaders half, Danny Richardson, remains in the 19-man squad and would be unfortunate to miss out given Saints’ recent upturn in form.
Castleford: Hardaker, Minikin, Shenton, Gale, Lynch, McShane, Millington, O Holmes, McMeeken, Milner, Massey, Sene-Lefao, Roberts, Cook, Patrick, Monaghan, T Holmes, Hitchcox, Foster.
St Helens: Lomax, Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Fages, Smith, Walmsley, Roby, Amor, Wilkin, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Thompson, Lee, Peyroux, Knowles, Richardson, Grace, Lees, Taia.
Prediction: St Helens will give a good go of trying to be the first team to win at the Jungle this season, but the Tigers will march on – Cas by 7.