Injury-hit Castleford Tigers short of front row forwards
Castleford coach Ian Millward could be without four front-row forwards for the start of the new Super League season.
New signing Grant Millington, Craig Huby, Paul Jackson and Jonathan Walker are all still recovering from injury.
That leaves Nathan Massey, Jake Emmitt and newcomer Steve Nash as the club's only specialist props for the opening game at Salford on 4 February.
"I'm confident over the next month they'll return in dribs and drabs," said new Cas coach Millward.
The 51-year-old former Leigh, St Helens, Wigan and North Queensland Cowboys coach took over at the end of last season following fellow Australian Terry Matterson's return down under.
But, after Cas missed out on the play-offs last season, despite making a solid start to the campaign and star player Rangi Chase doing enough to win the Super League Man of Steel award, Millward is making no rash predictions as to how the Tigers might go in 2012.
"I don't know the players well enough yet to say what we can do," he said. "But I like their attitude and keenness for a change.
"I respect what Terry did last year but everyone has different views. That's what makes coaches different.
"We've just talked about certain key performance indicators we are looking to be consistent in.
"Last year we conceded 29.7 points a game so we need to get better defensively and we need to be less reliant on certain individuals. We need to work more as a team.
"We're trying to change our style a bit. It's very obvious if you look at the stats from last year that, if Rangi doesn't perform or play, the club were less effective.
"We understand there's quality there. We've just got to work out what's best for the team."