Castleford Tigers captain Michael Shenton has been ruled out for the 2016 season through injury.
The centre suffered serious knee ligament damage in the Tigers’ opening round draw with Hull KR on Sunday.
Tigers’ head coach Daryl Powell slammed Rovers hooker John Boudebza for the tackle that has ended Shenton’s season.
“It’s really disappointing the type of tackles that can do that to people are still in the game,” Powell said via Sky Sports.
“There’s a job needs to be done in terms of dealing with that, but that is no consolation to Shenny or to us.
“It’s a massive blow for us and we now need to see a response from a few other players within our team. Our leadership is going to need to develop across a few players. These things happen, but it is pretty tough to take.”
Boudebza was charged with a Grade B offence by the RFL and faces a two game suspension as a result.
Shenton said after being ruled out for the campaign: “I’ve had a great pre-season and felt fresh coming into the season so to have it cut short from a reckless challenge is difficult for me to swallow but I’ll be doing all I can off the field to support the boys through this season.”