Leeds Rhinos v Featherstone Rovers: Leeds chief Hetherington hopes tie captures fans’ imaginations

Gary Hetherington.
Gary Hetherington.
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LEEDS RHINOS chief executive Gary Hetherington has urged supporters to get behind Friday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final at home to Featherstone Rovers.

Previous ties this season have failed to capture fans’ imaginations, but Hetherington said: “There’s a lot of interest and excitement surrounding this game. Featherstone are going well in the Championship, it is a quarter-final and we’re hoping there’s going to be a big turnout of fans from both clubs.

“The crowds for the previous two games – against Doncaster and Barrow – were disappointing, but we want to generate a great atmosphere and a real cup fervour for both teams.”

Hetherington added: “It is a long time since Featherstone have come to Headingley to play Leeds in a big game and it is a great day for them.

“It is one step away from a semi-final, it is a local derby and there is a relationship and a synergy between the two clubs. It makes for an intriguing evening and we want the fans to be part of it.”

Friday will be the second competitive meeting between the clubs since they formed a dual-registration partnership in 2016. Rhinos won 62-6 in front of a 6,671 crowd at Post Office Road in the opening game of last year’s Qualifiers.

And Hetherington said: “The fans turned out in big numbers that day and it was a great event.

“It was the fans who made it special and we want to replicate that at Headingley.”