Castleford suffer Eagar injury blow

Eagar, a steadying influence since rejoining the Tigers from Hull in mid- season, has been named in a 21-man squad for the National League One grand final against Whitehaven tomorrow. However, he damaged a hamstring in the nerve-jangling win over Halifax last week and is regarded as a very doubtful proposition.

If so, he is likely to be replaced by Michael Shenton, who has recovered from a broken cheekbone but was kept out last weekend by tonsillitis.

The Castleford coach, Dave Woods, has had good news about the two other players who missed that match, with Craig Huby and the NL1 young player of the year, Andy Kain, both passed fit. Huby will solve any goal-kicking problems, while Kain is likely to be in competition with Paul Handforth for a place on the bench.

Haven beat Castleford earlier in the play-offs, although Woods does not believe that will be a factor. He does say, though, that "Whitehaven have got to be favourites. They are playing some great footy and they've been there before."

Whitehaven came agonisingly close against Leigh last year before losing in extra time. Their coach, Steve McCormack, is relieved that his scrum-half, Joel Penny, has passed a test on his calf.

On the supporting bill at a Halton Stadium filled to its 13,300 capacity, Dewsbury will have the former Leeds and Widnes scrum-half, Ryan Sheridan, back from injury against Batley. He is part of a core of Super League experience in a Rams side which also includes the ex-Castleford players, Darren Rogers and Francis Maloney.

The Batley centre, Iain Marsh has been brought into the Scotland squad for the European Nations Cup as a replacement for Hull KR's new signing from Huddersfield, Iain Morrison, who has withdrawn for personal reasons.

The first game of the triple-header sees Bramley, reborn as an ambitious amateur club after their demise in the professional game, take on Bradford Dudley Hill in the NL3 grand final.

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