By Matthew Beedle
Daryl Powell will field a young Castleford Tigers side in their penultimate friendly before the Super League season begins.
The Tigers travel to the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium to face a strong Batley Bulldogs side.
Head coach Powell will be playing his younger players to give them an opportunity to impress and as the Tigers also take on St Helens two days later.
One of the youngsters who will be looking to impress Powell and his coaching staff is 19-year-old Rory Dixon.
Dixon made his first appearance for the first team in the Tigers’ 42-10 Boxing Day friendly win over Hull FC.
The prop forward believes it will be an excellent chance for him to impress and believes the Bulldogs will pose a strong threat to the young squad.
He said: “It’s a great opportunity for me to show everyone at the club what I can do and I’m looking forward to playing against some quality players in the Batley team.”
He also said: “They are a top Championship club who are pushing for Super League status. We know it will be a tough challenge as it is there full strength squad but we will be giving our all.”
Castleford will also be looking to hand a debut to new signing Jake Trueman who signed from Bradford Bulls on a two year deal.
The 17-year-old signed from the Bradford following the difficulties at the rugby club and featured for the first team on numerous occasions.
It will be the first time Castleford will travel to Batley since their 48-10 win in the Challenge Cup on their way to Wembley.
Powell will be hoping for a strong performance from his young side but will be keeping an eye on the next academy product to make their way into the first team picture.