Doncaster RLFC: Castle eyes revenge at Hunslet

Mark Castle scores for the Dons against Barrow. Photo: Dean Atkins
Mark Castle scores for the Dons against Barrow. Photo: Dean Atkins

Dons prop Mark Castle missed the opening weeks of the season with a groin injury but is making up for lost time.

The 30-year-old, who says he is delighted to be back at a club he never wanted to leave, didn't feature until the iPro Cup defeat against London Skolars earlier this month.

By his own admission the Castleford-born forward is still playing ‘catch-up’ in terms of fitness.

“I picked up the injury in training about three weeks before Christmas and obviously missed a lot of the pre-season work.

“It was hard when I first came back but I’m getting there thanks to the Army guys who are helping with our fitness work,” he said.

Regarded as being one of the club’s marquee signings, Castle has scored in the last two games and would like nothing better than to continue the sequence in Sunday’s game against the Leeds club he played for last season.

Relegated along with the Dons at the end of last season, Hawks haven’t made the best of starts to League One - but they posted a big win at Oxford at the weekend.

“I’m expecting it to be a tough game for us because they’ve kept a lot of their players, who I know are good players, from last season,” said Castle.

It will be the club’s second visit to the South Leeds Stadium this season, Hawks dumping them out of the Challenge Cup in surprisingly emphatic fashion.

“I don’t think that game will have any bearing on this Sunday,” said Castle.

“It was a bad day at the office but we had a lot of players out, including myself, and we had a lot of young lads in the team.

“Since then we’ve got injured players back such as Jordan Howden who helped give us a bit of direction against a very strong Barrow side at the weekend, and we’ve brought in the likes of the Delaney brothers who have both impressed me.”

Although the Dons go into Sunday’s game lying fifth full of confidence after ending Barrow’s unbeaten league record, and also one point adrift of leaders Rochdale, Castle is not getting carried away.

“Having played in League One before I know that it’s a tough league to get out of and there are a lot of good teams,” he said.

“I'm confident that if we can keep a settled side we are good enough to be up there challenging. We are still bedding in as a team and there is more to come.”