Millward eyes new recruits
Ian Millward has admitted an interest in bringing England centre Michael Shenton back to Castleford from St Helens.
Last Updated: 17/05/12 3:27pm
Castleford coach Ian Millward is stepping up his search for new three-quarters and has admitted an interest in bringing England centre Michael Shenton back to the Probiz Coliseum.
Shenton is halfway through a three-year contract at St Helens but is thought to have been given permission to talk to other clubs and Hull and Hull KR could both rival the Tigers for his signature.
"We're in the market for any good centres and obviously he comes into that category but we're not advanced in any talks with Michael," said Millward.
"Our priority is to sign two centres and we're very active in the market place."
The Tigers are thought to be resigned to losing 20-year-old England Knights centre Joe Arundel, who is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with a move to Hull.
With Arundel currently injured, Millward has been forced to play second-rowers Brett Ferres and Lee Mitchell as makeshift three-quarters this year but he says he would be loathe to make any short-term signings, which would rule out a move for former Leeds and Great Britain centre Keith Senior.
Senior, who is keen to maintain his ever-present record in Super League going back to 1996, has been out of the game for more than 12 months with a knee injury but is nearing fitness.
"You never say never but I've only had one discussion with Keith and that was about two months ago," Millward added.
"I told him when he's ready to give us a ring and we'll have a look at where we are with our stock. It's up to Keith to prove his fitness first.
"I'd like to get through to the end of the year without having to bring anyone in. We lack a bit of depth in our outside backs but we're not in a position to test drive a player."
In the longer term, Millward has not ruled out a move for former St Helens centre Martin Gleeson, who will be free to join a club for the start of pre-season training in November after completing an 18-months drugs ban.
"He's not a priority for us but he does come into that category of experienced centre," he said.
"Martin has got to pick up the phone and also say he loves rugby league again. He's a very talented player who I still think has a future in the game but he's got to prepare himself to play rugby league again."
Meanwile, Castleford will go into Sunday's Stobart Super League game at Hull KR without a specialist half-back.
Skipper Danny Orr has been ruled out with a lower-back injury sustained in the Tigers' 36-12 win over Widnes, while Rangi Chase and Ryan McGoldrick are both suspended.
Chase has one match left of a three-game ban imposed for a tackle that broke Tangi Ropati's jaw in Castleford's Challenge Cup defeat at Featherstone while McGoldrick misses his first match of the season as he starts a two-match suspension handed out for illegal use of the forearm against the Vikings.
Millward has still to decide on his replacements and admits he could be tempted to give a Super League debut to 20-year-old Ben Johnson, who is currently playing on a dual registration with home-town Championship club York.
"We've spent a fair amount of time this week trying a few things," he said. "We've called another session for tomorrow.
"We'd normally have Friday off for a Sunday game but we're going to do a bit more ball work. We're not sure what we'll do. We've got a couple of options.
"It's disappointing. We're heading in the right direction and it would have been nice to have some specialist halves this week."
Millward also has the option of giving a debut to Ryan Brierley, a half-back who is currently impressing on a dual registration with Leigh.
"We're considering Ryan but we don't think we're going to do it this week," said Millward.