Leeds Rhinos loanee Brett Ferres applauds Featherstone Rovers Super League credentials
AFTER his loan spell at Leeds Rhinos, Brett Ferres is taking time to freshen up before resuming duty with Featherstone Rovers - who hope to be a Super League club by the time the ex-England star returns.
With the Championship season cancelled in July due to Covid, veteran second-row Ferres headed back to his former club Leeds in August to help bolster Richard Agar’s squad numbers.
He ended up playing four games with Rhinos who won the Challenge Cup during his short stint back at Headingley and also reached the play-offs.
Featherstone, who have not been in action since March, returned to training last week to start their preparations for the 2021 campaign.
Ferres, who has signed a one-year extension at Post Office Road, said:“Fev asked when I was coming back in and I said I was going to have a break.
“It’s not just physical. It’s the mental side of it all; when you’re in that environment with the Covid-side of things it can be draining.
“Fev started up last week and they have been really thorough and professional with their Covid work, getting everything boxed off.
“They have taken their time to make sure they have got it right and given it due diligence.
“I’ll probably go in just before Christmas. It will be good to get in with the lads and meet the new boys as well and see where everyone is at.
“I imagine the club will have us in for a few days around Christmas and then we’ll crack on in the new year.
“It always goes pretty quick after the Christmas period when you start getting into games.
“I know there’s a bit more of a break this time, and the Championship has not announced yet when it will start but I doubt it will be a million miles away from the Super League (March 11).”
However, Featherstone, of course, are one of six clubs who have applied to take the place of Toronto Wolfpack in the top-flight next season.
Applications had to be in on Monday and a panel - drawn from members of Super League and the RFL - will assess them all before deciding on who gets the nod.
Ferres’ first professional club Bradford Bulls as well as London Broncos, Toulouse Olympique, York City Knights and Leigh Centurions have all taken part in the process with a result expected on December 16.
The 34-year-old, who has also played with Castleford Tigers, Wakefield Trinity and Huddersfield Giants, believes Featherstone have a strong case even though they are seen as outsiders by many.
“I think why not?” said Ferres, who was born and raised in neighbouring Castleford.
“Fev have been great. And really consistent for the last few years.
“I’d love to see them get in Super League and see some of the young players at the club get that chance to play there.
“With their credentials over the last few years, on the playing front, they certainly deserve that; they were runners-up (in the Million Pound Game) last year only to Toronto and, let’s be honest, Toronto would have beaten any team anywhere with what they were spending and where they were at.
“They have upgraded the stadium and facilities in that time and the club has done everything right but it comes down to the powers-that-be.
“They have a great fan base there but I say good luck to whoever is making that choice as I personally would not like to be making it with the candidates in there.”
Ferres added: “You won’t please everybody and there’s certainly some worthy and strong candidates.
“I just don’t know where it’s going to go. Unfortunately, Featherstone seems to be seen as the unfashionable club and people will say there’s already Wakefield and Castleford in the area as well so there’s that sort of politics.
“But I say why not? We’ve a lot of players with Super League experience and some really good part-time players so it’d be interesting to see what we do as a club if we did get the chance. We’re certainly ready.”