Former Leeds Rhinos forward Brett Ferres excited by Featherstone Rovers move

Brett Ferres.Brett Ferres.
Brett Ferres.
FEATHERSTONE ROVERS is a “good fit” for Brett Ferres, the former Leeds Rhinos man says.

Ferres signed for Rovers this week after scoring 15 tries in 86 appearances – including a Grand Final win – during four seasons with Leeds.

The 33-year-old forward will be part-time at Featherstone, but said he is relishing the opportunity to spend more time with his young son and does not regard dropping into the Betfred Championship as a backwards move.

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Rovers finished fifth last season, but won play-offs against the teams in fourth, third and second place – all away from home – before losing at league leaders Toronto Wolfpack in the Grand Final.

Featherstone Rovers head coach James Webster.Featherstone Rovers head coach James Webster.
Featherstone Rovers head coach James Webster.

“I’ve had some comments saying it’s a big step down, but I don’t see it that way,” Ferres stated. “I see it as an opportunity and a challenge for myself.

“The rugby in the Championship is a very high standard. There used to be the odd couple of teams, but now there’s five or six who make a real good push every year and spend a fair amount of brass to try and get into Super League. I am really excited by it.

“I didn’t really look anywhere in Super League, I spoke to Fev and was sold on the idea pretty quick.”

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Asked if Rovers can challenge for promotion next year, Ferres said: “Why not? I think if they didn’t play Toronto last season they’d have got promotion against any other side.

“There’s been a massive disadvantage to most Championship clubs over the last couple of years with Toronto in there – which I am not complaining about, it’s just one of those things – but with the form and the run they had, potentially against anybody else in the league they could have been the team going up to Super League.”

He will begin training with Rovers on Tuesday and of his part-time status, said: “I have got an eight-month-old son so I am going to stay at home and look after him. I am really looking forward to that part of my life.”

Ferres was out of contract at Leeds and declined to comment on the circumstances of his departure, but said his new club have been “great for a couple of years now”.

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He added: “I’ve obviously kept an eye on them, with being a local lad and with their dual-reg players from Leeds. I’ve been really pleased for them, they certainly showed their prowess last year with the run into the Million Pound Game.

“They probably shocked a few, but within the group they didn’t surprise many. I think –from what I hear coming out of there – they have got a very tight group and they never doubted themselves.”

Rovers have a new team boss in James Webster, who had a spell in charge at Wakefield Trinity and was an assistant-coach at Hull KR last season.

“I’ve spoken to him quite a lot recently and heard a lot about him in the past,” Ferres said. “He has been under some very good head coaches and at some good clubs.

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“He has certainly learned his trade and I’m sure he’s excited to do the head-coach job and put his spin on Fev. He has got some great ideas and some things he has put in place already so I am looking forward to working alongside him.

“Wherever I’ve been I’ve tried to be a senior player and a leader with what I do and how I play. That’ll be no different for me, I’ll go there and play my game and do my thing and hopefully that helps the younger blokes and the senior blokes as well.”