Castleford Tigers head coach Darryl Powell is confident that the competition for places in the half-back position can bring out the best in his players.
Powell signed Jamie Ellis from Hull KR at the end of last season, but already has a wealth of options in the middle of the park.
Ellis missed out on selection in round one, as Powell favoured Jake Trueman alongside Luke Gale, but the Tigers boss says he's been impressed by the former Hull KR player's form in recent weeks.
"I think he's always been a good player. When he's playing with confidence then he's a real challenge. He's a natural footballer and I think he showed some of that last week, especially when he ran with the ball - he was a threat," said Powell.
"Jamie has a great passing game too. He created two tries last week and he got an assist with a kick as well. I've always rated him as a player and if we can keep him playing well he'll be great for us."
Powell believes that the threat posed by Trueman will help Ellis maintain top form.
"The challenge of Jake Trueman early on has really driven him to push his game on and I think the competition in the halves this year is going to be a good one," the Castleford coach added.
"Obviously, I didn't pick him for round one. He found it tough, but he's found a little bit of groove."
The Tigers are 10/3 to win the Super League Grand Final this season and 1212/1 to lift the Challenge Cup.
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