Featherstone Rovers coach James Webster 'not even close' to finalising Wembley squad to face York City Knights
With the big game just around the corner, Featherstone Rovers boss James Webster insists he still doesn’t know his Wembley lineup.
Rovers face York City Knights in the 1895 Cup final on Saturday, but Webster said he is “not even close” to deciding his 17.
“We are still getting over the game from last weekend,” Webster - whose side won 32-10 at Widnes Vikings in the Betfred Championship last Sunday - said.
“We need to check how people have come through.
“We were a little bit disjointed with some late changes last week and we don’t have a huge squad at the moment.”
Webster added: “I think we had 12 people unavailable last weekend, which when I went through them actually made a pretty decent Championship team.
“We are hoping some will be back, but until we get into the ground and have a look at some people, we won’t know for sure.
At least five players - Jack Bussey, Thomas Minns, Dale Ferguson, Brad Day and Frankie Halton - are ruled out through long-term injury.
Covid is also a threat, particularly with Rovers’ part-time players going to work as normal this week.
“We have got to get through some testing,” Webster warned.
“We had some isolations last weekend, which is why some people didn’t play.
More - Cup finals can give rugby league a revitalising shot in arm“We will know more as time goes on.
“Like every team and every job and business in the country at the moment, we are hoping we get through that testing without too many hassles, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
Webster stressed he is not concerned by the disrupted preparation for Rovers’ first Wembley appearance since 1983.
He said: “Four times this year we haven’t trained at all during the week and last week was the same, we just did a team run.
“We are being really careful when it comes to Covid and trying to minimise the risk as much as possible, to the point where we did video sessions last week in the grandstand, on phones, so we don’t have any option to track and trace from inside.”
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