Featherstone Rovers to be without quartet for Challenge Cup clash at Halifax Panthers

Featherstone Rovers do not expect to get any of their injured stars back for Sunday’s Challenge Cup clash at Halifax Panthers.

By Ben McKenna
Wednesday, 23rd February 2022, 9:15 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd February 2022, 9:16 am
HEAD COACH: Brian McDermott. Picture: Dec Hayes Photography.
HEAD COACH: Brian McDermott. Picture: Dec Hayes Photography.

Rovers travel to their West Yorkshire rivals in the fourth round of the competition, in one of five all-Championship contests.

Head coach Brian McDermott has been without a number of key men in recent weeks, including Jesse Sene-Lefao, Craig Kopczak, Josh Hardcastle and star signing Joey Leilua.

He does anticipate having any of them available against Halifax, with Leilua the most likely of the quartet to make a return.

“Jesse is still a number of weeks away with his shoulder. Craig Kopczak is progressing well but is still more than two weeks away,” said McDermott following Featherstone’s league win over London Broncos last weekend.

"Josh Hardcastle is progressing really well with his hamstring but he is probably about three weeks.

“Joey Leilua pulled up against Leigh with a bit of a hammy twinge, we are being cautious with him and we are being clever with him.

“He wants to play, he is really keen to play and we are really keen to get him on the field but whenever there is still some residue of the injury, we are not going to force him into these (muddy) conditions.

“These find out calves, groins and hamstrings. It is just not the smart thing to do, bearing in mind the season doesn’t finish until September or October.”

Last weekend, Featherstone continued their winning start to the 2022 Championship campaign as they secured victory over London Broncos.

Halifax were not in action as their league contest at Workington Town was called off due to adverse weather and safety concerns.