James Webster eager to bring Brett Ferres into the fold at Featherstone Rovers
Leeds Rhinos’ former England international Brett Ferres is the type of quality player new coach James Webster says he wants to attract to Featherstone Rovers.
Webster confirmed he has spoken to Ferres, who was a Grand Final winner two years ago, but the 33-year-old back-rower has not signed.
Ferres is out of contract, but could still be offered a new deal by Rhinos who began pre-season training on Monday.
Webster confirmed: “We are interested in players like Brett.
“I have spoken to him, but we will have to see where he’s at with Leeds first.
“If something could be worked out, Featherstone would love to be associated with people of the calibre of Brett Ferres.”
Webster has taken over from Ryan Carr who left Rovers to return to his native Australia after guiding them to this year’s Betfred Championship Grand Final.
Featherstone are Leeds’ dual-registration partner club and Carr spent the second half of the campaign as part-time assistant to Rhinos boss Richard Agar.
Four Rhinos men were in Rovers’ Grand Final side, on loan or dual-registration and the arrangement allowed Carr to work with those players – and other potential recruits – in addition to their time training at Featherstone.
Webster, who was Agar’s assistant at Wakefield Trinity, said he will be spending time at Leeds – primarily to work with the Rovers contingent – but is not expecting to join Rhinos in any sort of official capacity.
Rovers will begin pre-season training next Monday.
“With making the Grand Final that is probably a week later than most clubs,” Webster said.
“We will go through all the meet and greet and getting to know the new people and all that sort of stuff.
“I am expecting the first week to be reasonably light and from the week after that we will be full on. That will give us five weeks leading into Christmas, then we’ll start to play friendlies.”
Rovers will play host to Rhinos in a pre-season game on Friday, January 24, five days after visiting Webster’s former club Hull KR. Their other warm-up games are at home to York City Knights on January 5 and at Valencia Huracanes on January 11.