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Hull FC v Tigers: Teams
At The KC Stadium, Saturday September 8, kick-off 6pm
Sixth-placed Hull FC host lowly Castleford looking to win and build momentum ahead of the Super League play-offs.
The hosts posted a club record 70-6 away victory over Bradford Bulls last time and, after this Tigers' test, there is a likely home tie against Huddersfield Giants in the play-offs next weekend.
Assistant coach Andy Hay is eyeing consistency before the play-offs get underway.
"We've got a game to play against Castleford this week first, but we have to go into the play-offs on a roll," he told the club's website.
"We see it year on year that teams go into the play-offs and get blown away in the first round, so we have to have some consistency."
Hull have been handed a boost by the return of England international Danny Tickle and winger Will Sharp from lengthy injury absences.
Kirk Yeaman pulled his calf during the warm-up against the Bulls, with Ben Crooks coming into the starting line-up, and Hay says it is no certainty Yeaman will get his place back.
"If a player isn't fit then we won't play them, but we'll put the strongest team out we can. Kirk is better than we thought, he pulled himself out in the warm-up as he didn't think he could run during the game," he said.
"He's had a scan and he's been training with the physio this week. We put Crooksy in there against Bradford and he did a good job, so Kirk has to fight for his way back into the team.
"There's no certainty he's going to walk back in and he's got to be 100 per cent fit if he wants to play this week."
Castleford head to Hull looking to avoid the wooden spoon in this year's Super League after slumping to 13th place in the table - tied on the same points as London and Widnes - following six straight defeats.
Pacey 19-year-old winger Ben Blackmore, who has impressed for the academy in recent weeks, is set to make his debut while fellow academy graduates Ben Johnston and Jonathan Walker are also included, with Walker set to return after seven weeks out with injury.
The trio replace Steve Nash (concussion), Jamie Ellis (shoulder) and Paul Jackson, (knee).
Meanwhile, Saturday's match is sure to prove an emotional affair with retiring trio Danny Orr, Nick Youngquest and Ryan Hudson all set to play their final professional game.
Hay believes veteran scrum half Orr will give everything he has got on Saturday.
"With Cas at the minute, what they bring is the unexpected, but one thing we can be sure of is that Danny Orr will come and give 100 per cent and try to play his best game," he said.
"Week in, week out he is a good performer. He is a very good trainer, he turns up first for training and he stays after everybody else has gone. He's not afraid to get into the contact with the big forwards or put a big shot on.
"He'll come this week and he'll play tough and he'll be competing for the win. He's been a good servant to Cas in two spells with the club and also Wigan and the game as a whole. I watched him last week against Catalan and I thought he had a good game, so maybe he's retiring too early.
"He's going to bring his kicking game, he's going to show and try to step through the line past a lazy defender. He's a real competitor and he's a good player to have in your team."
Hull squad: Aspinwall, Briscoe, Crooks, Foster, Green, Heremaia, Horne, Houghton, Lynch, Manu, O'Meley, Pitts, Seymour, Sharp, Tickle, Turner, Watts, Westerman, Yeaman.
Castleford squad: Owen, Youngquest, Chase, Orr, Emmitt, Clark, Huby, Walker, Snitch, Jones, Milner, Hudson, Mitchell, Millington, Holmes, Massey, Thompson, Johnston, Blackmore.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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