Featherstone Rovers boosted as two Super League stars sign and key trio stay

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Featherstone Rovers have been boosted by news that two players from Super League in 2023 have opted to join the Post Office Road club.

​Rovers have completed the signing of Greg Minikin from Warrington Wolves and half-back Ben Reynolds from Leigh Leopards.

Both are former Castleford Tigers players so know the area well and show that Featherstone are still not lacking ambition to put together a strong side for 2024 despite missing out on promotion again this year.

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Minikin has a depth of experience having started his career at York, where current Rovers boss James Ford was his head coach, before plying his trade at Castleford, Hull KR and Warrington.

Ben Reynolds in action against Featherstone Rovers when he played for Leigh Leopards at the Millennium Stadium in 2022. Photo by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.comBen Reynolds in action against Featherstone Rovers when he played for Leigh Leopards at the Millennium Stadium in 2022. Photo by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
Ben Reynolds in action against Featherstone Rovers when he played for Leigh Leopards at the Millennium Stadium in 2022. Photo by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

He said: “I’m really pleased to be joining the club and to work with Fordy again.

"I had the a couple of Super League options but I’m really excited about the project at Featherstone. I’m looking forward to getting out on that field and showing the best version of myself in a Featherstone shirt.”

Ford said: “I’ve known Greg a long time and coached him at the very start of his career. He’s developed into a tough competitor at centre, I can’t wait to get him on the field next year and to get the best version of him playing in a Fev shirt.”

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Local lad Reynolds has signed a two-year deal with Fev after leaving Leigh where he enjoyed a fine season in their return to Super League.

“I’m very happy to be joining my boyhood club, my family are very proud that I’ll be playing for the team they support,” he commented.

"I’m looking forward to working with James, Ian and the playing group to help us push on and achieve more great things for this team and this town.”

The 29-year-old made 27 appearances for Leigh this year, scoring five tries and amassing 196 points for the Leopards, including some crucial points in their Challenge Cup final victory.

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On his arrival, head coach Ford said: “I’m really looking forward to working with Ben again. He’s an outstanding kicker of the ball and is excellent when executing plays with his strong running game and is ultimately a real competitor.

"He is a leader and a winner and will be instrumental in helping us win games in 2024.”

A further boost has been delivered with Steven Mullaney Player of the year and top try scorer Gareth Gale committing to Rovers with a contract extension that will see him stay at the club until at least 2025.

The prolific scoring winger will make it five seasons with Fev in 2024 and will be aiming to repeat his feats from 2023 when scoring 30 tries.

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He said: “I’m really pleased to be extending for another couple of years, being from Featherstone it’s special for me to play for this club and I’ll be doing my best to help this club push forward in 2024.”

Ford added: “Gareth had another exceptional season in 2023 and we all believe there’s more to come from him.

"He is a key retention for the club, he is a local lad who fits the mold of a Featherstone Rovers player, he is tough, hard working and keen to improve and I’m looking forward to working with him ahead of the 2024 campaign.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

French international forward Gadwin Springer and back Celeb Aekins has also signed a contract extensions, but t​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​wo players have been confirmed to be leaving Featherstone with utility back Craig Hall joining Doncaster and prop Craig Kopczak going to Oldham.