HUNSLET HAWKS could have up to four players available after injury for Sunday’s Ladbroke’s Challenge Cup fifth-round tie at home to Championship rivals Dewsbury Rams.
Elliot Cosgrove and Ryan Backhouse both missed the win over Whitehaven last week due to concussion, but are back in contention. Callum Casey (calf) may feature and James Houston (broken hand) is back in training, though coach Barry Eaton admitted he might need another week.
Hawks’ major doubt is in-form full-back Jimmy Watson, who has a knee problem. Marcus Elliott is on stand-by to step in. Prop Rob Mulhern is likely to be the only one of Hawks’ dual-registered Leeds Rhinos players who is available.
Rams boss Glenn Morrison is considering changes to the team which won at Doncaster last Sunday. He said: “We rested a couple – Rob Spicer and Makali Aizue – and they will probably come back. We might need to rest a couple of others. We want to win this one, but we’re also conscious of a big game down in London the week after, so it is a bit of a juggle.”
New loan signing from Whitehaven Brett Seymour is Cup tied, but will be at the game and is due to begin training with Rams next week.
Featherstone Rovers face lower division opposition in hosts North Wales Crusaders, but coach Andy Hay insisted he won’t be resting players.
He said: “We need to get some consistency in our performances. We will go with the strongest team we can. We need to get some form on the board and we still don’t know what our best team is, because players are playing well one week and letting themselves down the next.”
John Kear’s Batley Bulldogs are at home to League One club, Swinton Lions and he said: “I would have rested people if I’d had an opportunity, but if you look at our injury list, it is quite extensive.
“There might be a couple of rotations, but not wholesale. We will go with what we’ve got.”
Jordan Grayston, who was full-back in last Sunday’s defeat by Featherstone, has a dead leg and hooker Anthony Nicholson is facing a long lay-off after breaking an arm in training on Tuesday.
But Matty Fozard, who was last week’s starting hooker, is available after St Helens agreed to extend his loan spell on a week-to-week basis.