Featherstone Rovers boss James Webster tips forward James Harrison for big things after loan spell at Leeds Rhinos

Featherstone Rovers coach James Webster is expecting a “big year” from forward James Harrison following his loan spell with Leeds Rhinos last season.

By Peter Smith
Thursday, 4th March 2021, 11:39 am
Updated Thursday, 4th March 2021, 11:42 am
James Harrison carries the ball for Rhinos against Warrington last season. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
James Harrison carries the ball for Rhinos against Warrington last season. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Harrison trained full-time, as well as making four Betfred Super League appearances and Webster, who has returned to Rovers after working as an assistant-coach at Leeds in 2020, reckons he is a better player for the experience.

“He has got a lot of potential,” Webster said.

“He is a great kid, he works hard and he can play middle or edge, which is fantastic for your gameday squad.

“If you look at every game he played in that run he had at Leeds, he got better.

“The way he stood up at St Helens, against a full-strength Saints team, was great.”

Harrison was thrown in at the deep end, starting for Leeds against Catalans Dragons and Wakefield Trinity and coming off the bench away to Warrington Wolves and Saints,

Webster added: “He generally got a game when we had 14/15 people out.

“We were punching above our weight with all those young kids and he was able to lead that.

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“James still has a lot more in his locker than what he has been able to show so far, so I am looking forward to a big year from him.”

Harrison is set to feature in tomorrow’s home pre-season game against Oldham - Rovers’ first fixture for almost a year - but Brett Ferres, who was also on loan at Leeds last term, will miss out following surgery on a foot.

“He just needed a clean-out,” Webster said of the former Grand Final winner.

“It got delayed by Covid for six weeks, but he might be available for the Cup tie against Bradford [in two weeks’ time].”

Dual-registration arrangements, including Rovers’ with Leeds, have been put on hold owing to fears of spreading coronavirus between clubs, but Webster confirmed: “Obviously we still speak to Leeds and we’re still extremely close.

“Should that become available again, we will obviously look at it.”

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