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Page last updated at 12:28 GMT, Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Dean Widders sets high targets for Castleford Tigers

Dean Widders
Widders joined the Tigers from South Sydney Rabbitohs in 2009

Second row Dean Widders has set Castleford Tigers the target of reaching the Challenge Cup final and finishing in Super League's top six.

The Tigers finish their pre-season campaign against Hull FC on Sunday before taking on fierce rivals Wakefield at the Millennium Stadium.

Widders told BBC Radio Leeds: "This team has the talent to be in the top six and that has to be our goal.

"The Challenge Cup is a big one for me. I want to play in the final."

The Tigers missed out on the play-offs in 2010 by a place and just two points, following a final day defeat at St Helens.

The West Yorkshire outfit also suffered the embarrassment of being knocked out of the Challenge Cup at the fourth round stage at home by Championship club Barrow.

For Super League XVI, Castleford have made seven new signings, including Richie Mathers, Willie Isa, Danny Orr and Nick Fozzard.

That combined with a good pre-season has filled Widders and his fellow team-mates with confidence for the new campaign, despite the loss of Michael Shenton and Joe Westerman to rival clubs.

"We have to make sure we are in that top eight. That's everyone's first goal and would be a real let down if we don't make it," he said.

"But if you go from there anything can happen, especially when you have a team like we have.

"We play a style of rugby where you can score points and get on a role in a game and can be unstoppable for a period. So we have a real chance [of reaching the top six]."

The Australian is also determined to deliver a Wembley final for the Tigers' fans.

Castleford have lifted the trophy four times, the last in 1986. For Widders, himself, he has yet to experience the magic of the Challenge Cup since his arrival in the UK in 2009.

"I've been injured for every Challenge Cup games we've played," explained the former South Sydney Rabbitoh.

"So I see this is year as my opportunity. I hope I'm fit and playing well for those games.

"I hope we can make it a long way in the Challenge Cup because it's a big thing for us.

"It's certainly a magic competition and it's something that Britain really should treasure.

"I think it would be great to go all the way. We've had success in the past and I hope we can do it again."

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