Donlan excited for Millington bow
Castleford Tigers’ acting head coach Stuart Donlan is expecting big things from 6ft 4in, 16st forward Grant Millington but will settle for a gentle introduction in tonight’s Stobart Super League derby with Leeds Rhinos.
The 25-year-old former Cronulla and Canterbury prop missed the first four rounds of the competition as he continued his recovery from shoulder surgery and will be eased into his first taste of Super League.
“We knew Grant would be available around now,” said Donlan. “We just felt last week he needed another week but he’s ready to go now.
“We’ve watched clips of him and, from what we’ve seen of him in training, he communicates well with the squad. He talks to the people around him in defence, which is something we lacked on Sunday.
“He gives us a bit of size and he’s got a bit of an offload in him. We could maybe look to bring that into our structure and expand our game a little bit more but this week we just want him to get some game time under his belt.”
The Tigers are in need of boost after succumbing 46-4 at home to Wigan Warriors last Sunday - a third successive defeat that leaves them third from bottom of the table.
Leeds coach Brian McDermott is expecting a difficult challenge, however, and has highlighted the threat of full-back Richard Owen, in addition to experienced half-backs Rangi Chase and Danny Orr.
“We know that Castleford will be strong,” he said. “There is obviously a lot of attention on Rangi Chase but Danny Orr is a key player for them. He does so much for them and drives them on.
“Owen at full-back has also given them another dimension this season and we need to be ready to produce our best performance to take them on.”
In tonight’s other game, Salford City Reds look to make it three wins in a row against a London Broncos side aiming to break their duck.
The Londoners’ start is in sharp contrast to the situation 12 months ago when they proudly sat at the top of the table with three opening wins, but coach Rob Powell is confident their first victory is not far away.
“Salford have won a couple of games and done well but we think we performed well last week and, if we play to our strengths, their threats become not as important and we can go on, have a good game and hopefully win it,” he said.
The Broncos are without England international Tony Clubb but Salford coach Phil Veivers, who is able to recall centre Joel Moon from a broken hand, believes the visitors have a star-studded line-up.
“Their strength is their size,” Veivers said. “They’ve a very big pack and two good half-backs.
“Really it’s a Manly reunion. At the last count I think they had seven former Sea Eagles players in their squad.”