Featherstone Rovers and Castleford Tigers confirm pre-season plans

Featherstone Rovers and Castleford Tigers have begun mapping out their pre-season campaign as they look to warm up for the 2023 season.
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The two neighbouring clubs have confirmed their warm-up matches, including playing each other in a New Year’s Eve 12 noon showdown at Featherstone’s Millennium Stadium.

This will be the first time the two clubs have met in four years and will be both teams’ first hit out since September.

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Cas will hope to field a number of their new signings while it will be the first game for new Rovers head coach Sean Long and he will also be looking to get a look at some new faces.

Action from Castleford Tigers' last meeting with neighbours Featherstone Rovers sees Ryan Bailey stopped by three tacklers.Action from Castleford Tigers' last meeting with neighbours Featherstone Rovers sees Ryan Bailey stopped by three tacklers.
Action from Castleford Tigers' last meeting with neighbours Featherstone Rovers sees Ryan Bailey stopped by three tacklers.

Rovers are also set to test themselves against Super League opposition when they host Hull KR on Friday, January 20 (kick-off 7,45pm) in Craig Hall's testimonial game and when they make the short travel to play Wakefield Trinity on Sunday, January 29 (3pm).

Cas have announced a second pre-season game, which will also be away when they travel to play Whitehaven on Sunday, January 29 at the LEL Arena (3pm).

This will be the first time the two clubs have met since 2007 and could see two of the Tigers’ young players keen to renew acquaintances with hooker Cain Robb spending time on loan with Whitehaven last season and prop Kieron Hudson staying with the Cumbrian club on loan after agreeing a two-year deal with Cas in 2022.

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Playing the friendly is part of the deal Castleford made to acquire the services of the promising Hudson from Whitehaven.

At least one more warm-up game is set to be announced by Cas ahead of their big kick-off on the weekend of February 17.

The Tigers are back in training on Monday, November 14 while Fev’s players begin to be put through their paces again this month.

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Rovers have added French flair to their squad with the signing of 22-year-old prop Mathieu Cozza from Catalans Dragons and highly rated young half-back Thomas Lacans, who is a graduate of the Catalans academy system and played for Newcastle in 2022.

The experienced Jack Bussey has signed an extension to his current contract to stay with the club next year, but their former Cas star Jesse Sene-Lefao has left for Sheffield Eagles and fellow forward Callum Field has joined Widnes Vikings.