Two missing for opener but Featherstone Rovers boss Duffy happy with preparations

Featerhstone Rovers' Jason Walton
Featerhstone Rovers' Jason Walton
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FEATHERSTONE ROVERS will be without Jason Walton (knee) and Chris Ulugia (shoulder) for their opening Championship game at home to Halifax on February 4.

Both players have undergone surgery and missed the end of last season. Coach John Duffy said: “Chris Ulugia will hopefully be back in action for us by March.

I’m really excited to see how far we can go with the squad we’ve got. The new lads have bought in straight away

John Duffy

“The only other long-term one we’ve got at the moment is Jason Walton. He has had his operation and he’s probably looking around Easter time to get back.

“Ian Hardman will have a minor clean-out operation, but he’ll only be out for a week or so.”

Duffy has pledged to field his strongest-available team in Rovers’ opening pre-season game at Castleford Tigers on Boxing Day, with recruits Martyn Ridyard, Shaun Robinson, Tom Holmes and Scott Wheeldon all set to feature.

“I’m really happy with the squad. We’ve done a great job in getting who we wanted,” Duffy said of Rovers’ closed-season signings.

“I’m really excited to see how far we can go with the squad we’ve got. The new lads have bought in straight away and they are all excited to put on a Fev shirt.

“We’ve got excellent competition for places.

“You can see that in training with the quality of players we’ve brought in.

“I’ve been really impressed with everyone so far.”

Jamie Ellis, pictured during his first spell at Castleford Tigers.

Jamie Ellis relishing second chance with top targets Castleford Tigers