Featherstone Rovers v Oldham - James Webster to use full squad in pre-season opener

Former Wakefield forward Craig Kopczak is due to make his Rovers debut on Saturday.Former Wakefield forward Craig Kopczak is due to make his Rovers debut on Saturday.
Former Wakefield forward Craig Kopczak is due to make his Rovers debut on Saturday.
It has been a long wait, but Featherstone Rovers coach James Webster will finally see some of his new faces in action tomorrow (Saturday).

Rovers begin their pre-season campaign behind closed doors at home to Oldham (1.30pm) and Webster confirmed every available player in his squad will feature.

That means a first appearance for signings including Fa’amanu Brown (from Canterbury Bulldogs), Jacob Doyle (Castleford Tigers), Callum Field (Leigh Centurions), Frankie Halton (Swinton Lions), Tom Holmes (Huddersfield Giants), Connor Jones and Kris Welham (both Salford Red Devils), Craig Kopczak (Wakefield Trinity), Louis Sheriff (Keighley Cougars) and the ex-Leeds Rhinos trio of Loui McConnell, Harvey Spence and Liam Whitton.

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Rovers have also managed to retain most of the squad which was unbeaten 12 months ago, before coronavirus brought last season to a halt and Webster reckons it is an exciting mix.

“I think we’ve recruited not only some experience, but I also wanted some younger, hungry people who want to make rugby league their future,” he stressed.

“We have been able to mix that in and not just go for people sliding out of Super League.

“We’ve got some young kids who have had a taste of it and want to go harder and stronger at it.”

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Rovers have not played since a Challenge Cup win over Hunslet on March 13 last year.

Webster admitted: “We can’t wait to get out there and get a game.

“We have trained well, we have got a lot more numbers this year - mainly due to not being able to use dual-registration - and there has been more of a normal feel to pre-season, compared to last year when we had people coming back from holiday, Grand Finals and wedding and we had a lot less numbers than we do now.”

Junior Moors’ visa is still being processed and he will miss tomorrow's game, along with fellow former Castleford player Joe Summers (broken foot).

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Brett Ferres is also unavailable following surgery on a foot.

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