Featherstone Rovers boss Sean Long faces away test in first game in charge
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Sean Long’s men start their 2023 Betfred Championship campaign with the first of their televised Monday night matches when they travel to play newly promoted Keighley Cougars on February 6 (kick-off 7.45pm).
Rovers’ first home game follows six days later with long standing rivals Halifax Panthers the opponents at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday, February 12.
A further home game follows seven days later against Whitehaven before the first month is seen out with a trip to play Newcastle on February 26.
Featherstone face a potentially tough finish to the regular season when away to likely title contenders Toulouse on September 16 and at home to Widnes on September 23.
They are set to take on York City Knights at the Summer Bash. The fixture has not yet been confirmed, but will take place at York’s LNER Community Stadium on on Saturday, May 27.
There is only one game at Easter when Rovers will be away to Batley Bulldogs – the team that knocked them out of the play-offs in 2022 – on Friday, April 7.
Rovers, meanwhile, have pulled off a big transfer coup in completed the signing of New Zealand international Elijah Taylor.
Taylor, who has been with Super League side Salford since 2021, previously played at New Zealand Warriors, Penrith Panthers and Wests Tigers, racking up 186 NRL appearances.
He has appeared 11 times for his native New Zealand, including every game of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge at Featherstone and trying to get the club promoted to Super League,” he said.
"I watched Sean Long as a kid and the opportunity to be coached by him is pretty special.”
Rovers head coach Long commented: “I’m excited to welcome Elijah to the playing group, he’s a hungry yet experienced forward who has the potential to play in a number of forward positions.
"He has played at the highest level in the NRL and on the international stage and will bring additional quality into the playing group.”
Ben Hellewell has left Rovers to join Salford for the 2023 Super League season on a one-year deal.
Featherstone Rovers’ 2023 Betfred Championship fixtures are:
Mon 6 Keighley A 7.45pm
Sun 12 Halifax H 3pm
Sun 19 Whitehaven H 3pm
Sun 26 Newcastle A 3pm
Mon 6 Bradford H 7.45pm
Sun 19 Swinton A 3pm
Sun Mar 26 York H 3pm
Fri 7 Batley A 7.30pm
Sun 16 London Broncos A 3pm
Sun 7 Sheffield H 3pm
Sun 14 Widnes A 3pm
Sat 27 York TBC Summer Bash
Sun 4 Barrow H 3pm
Sat 10 Toulouse H 6pm
Sun 18 London Broncos H 3pm
Sun 25 York A 3pm
Sun 2 Whitehaven A 3pm
Sun 9 Swinton H 3pm
Sun 16 Barrow A 3pm
Sat 29 Batley H 6pm
Sun 6 Halifax A 3pm
Fri 18 Sheffield A 7.30pm
Sun 27 Keighley H 3pm
Sun 3 Bradford A 3pm
Sun 10 Newcastle H 3pm
Sat 16 Toulouse A 6pm
Sat 23 Widnes H 6pm