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Page last updated at 14:00 GMT, Thursday, 10 February 2011

Castleford Tigers season preview 2011

Danny Orr
Castleford-born Danny Orr left the Tigers to sign for Wigan in 2003

Castleford Tigers will start the new season believing that they can be the surprise package of Super League XVI.

The West Yorkshire club just missed out on a 2010 play-off place after a final-day defeat at St Helens, finishing a place and two points behind eighth-placed Crusaders.

Tigers fans' disappointment was then compounded by the departure of young England stars Joe Westerman to Hull and Michael Shenton to St Helens, along with the retirement of James Evans due to injury.

However spirits have been raised by the arrival of seven proven top-flight quality players.

Martin Aspinwall (Huddersfield), Jake Emmitt (St Helens), Nick Fozzard (St Helens), Willie Isa (Melbourne Storm), Richie Mathers (Warrington), Danny Orr (Harlequins), Nick Youngquest (Crusaders) have all come in as Castleford coach Terry Matterson looks to add more steel and experience to his outfit.

Cas suffered a bad dose of inconsistency in 2010, not helped by a defensive wall that crumbled at the most inappropriate times.

So Matterson is hoping the defensive know-how of Fozzard, Emmitt and Mathers will complement the Tigers' exciting attacking abilities.

I think a lot of the young lads in this side can shine at Cardiff and for the whole season

Danny Orr

The return of old boy Orr from Harlequins, and his appointment as captain, has been warmly welcomed by supporters, and his organisational skills should help Tigers close out more tight matches.

Orr told BBC Radio Leeds: "I think I'm a different kind of a player from what I used to be. I play a different game now.

"I think this time at Castleford I'll be doing the kinds of things that people like Mitch Healy and Brad Davis did for me and Rangi Chase can do what I used to do here.

"If I can give him the service and space that Mitch and Brad did for me then I'll be doing my job and will be very happy.

"I still think I have a lot of attacking skills there and a bit of the old magic, but I'll be playing a different role in the team to when I was here last.

"I'll let Rangi do all the running around, I'll put us in the positions we need to be and sort the forwards out."

Despite the 2010 pre-season drama of Matterson losing a finger in a freak training ground accident, Cas exploded into the Super League campaign with a shock win at then champions Leeds Rhinos in their opening game.

With a much calmer build-up in 2011 the Tigers will be keen to heap the misery on financially stricken rivals Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in Saturday's opener at the Millennium Stadium.

"There is a lot of talent in this Cas team, we want to get off to a good start and I think a lot of the young lads in this side can shine at Cardiff and for the whole season," added Orr.

"Play-offs is a must for us and then it's semi-final football and I know from experience that anything can happen.

"Once you are in there your confidence goes up and you believe you can do anything and beat anyone. So we want to be in the mix come the end of the season."

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