ONLY 15 players have been named in Featherstone Rovers’ initial squad for tomorrow’s pivotal Betfred Championship Shield clash with visitors Leigh Centurions (3pm).
Clubs are required to announce a 19-man group two days before games, but injuries and player departures have left Rovers coach John Duffy “low on numbers”.
Tom Holmes and Gareth Hock have both left the club as part of financial cutbacks since Rovers failed to secure a place in the Qualifiers.
Leeds Rhinos’ Harry Newman, who has starred for Rovers on dual-registration, is on Academy Origin duty for Yorkshire this weekend and two more names have been added to a lengthy injury list.
Duffy said: “We lost Scott Wheeldon with a knee injury, a real bad one, against Batley and Jason Walton with a knee against Rochdale, so we are low on numbers.”
But he added: “Martyn Ridyard is coming on leaps and bounds with his shoulder injury. He is probably two or three weeks away so hopefully we will have him back for the last few games and the final.”
Rovers will face Leigh in the Shield final and tomorrow’s victors are likely to secure home advantage.
Duffy said: “I know we have got other games as well, but obviously this is the big one.
“If you win you probably get home advantage in the final and a mental advantage as well so it is a massive one for us.”