Castleford Tigers bust-up reports played down by coach Daryl Powell
Last Updated: 24/01/19 1:59pm
Castleford coach Daryl Powell insists his team are unified as they approach the start of the new Betfred Super League season.
Powell responded to reports of a drunken bust-up among the Tigers players during their pre-season training camp in Lanzarote.
The 2017 Super League coach of the year says the speculation has not been a distraction as the club count down to their opening game against Catalans Dragons next Friday.
"It didn't look like it last Sunday when we played Leeds," Powell said at the season launch at Old Trafford on Thursday. "I thought we had a team that had a lot of unity about it.
"I know there's a lot of rumours about and I haven't got any comment on them. All I'm interested in is where the team is at and I thought we looked fantastic against Leeds."
Meanwhile, Powell says the club have no immediate plans to make use of the salary cap dispensation offered to them by the Rugby Football League following the loss of England scrum-half Luke Gale to a season-ending Achilles injury.
Castleford have signed utility back Jordan Rankin from Huddersfield to add to their squad depth and Powell says he has already moved ahead of his other half-back options, Jamie Ellis, Ben Roberts and Cory Aston, as the partner for Jake Trueman.
Ellis, who was the Tigers' top scorer in 2018, is set to miss the start of the season with a knee injury but Roberts and Aston are fit.
"We've got some options there but Jordan will get first crack at it," Powell said.
"He looked pretty good against Leeds at half and I think he's played there consistently before. He's caused us a helluva lot of trouble over the years, particularly when he was at Hull.
"I know what we've got there as a player and I think we can get the best out of him. He's come in and he looks pretty comfortable, he's handled everything pretty well."
"We've obviously got the dispensation but we'll see how we go. At the moment we'll go with what we've got."