New Rovers coach Duffy: Tough game at Toulouse is what we want

John Duffy: "It is a massive opportunity for us to go out there and perform, do our best and get a result."
John Duffy: "It is a massive opportunity for us to go out there and perform, do our best and get a result."

FEATHERSTONE’S new coach John Duffy says today’s game at Toulouse Olympique (5.30pm) will be a good test ahead of the Qualifiers.

“It’s going to be a tough game, but that’s what we want,” said Duffy.

“That’s what’s around the corner. Hard battles like we’ll get this week are what we’ll get week in and week out in the Qualifiers.

“It is a massive opportunity for us to go out there and perform, do our best and get a result and hopefully we’ll take some confidence into the middle-eights.”

Duffy was appointed on Tuesday, the day after Jon Sharp was sacked.

The former Swinton Lions coach, who left his previous role on Monday, admitted it has been a whirlwind week, but spending three days with his new players is the ideal scenario.

Rovers’ squad flew to France yesterday and he said: “Going away is good because I can get to know them a bit better.

“I’ve not had much time with them yet, but the players have been absolutely superb and their attitude is first class.”

Rovers have already secured their spot in the middle-eights Qualifiers, but could slip a place to fourth in the final Kingstone Press Championship table if they lose and Halifax beat league leaders Hull KR tomorrow.

Toulouse are two points behind Halifax, with a superior points difference and a win today coupled with defeat for Fax would see them snatch the final spot in the four.

Forward John Davies will not be risked this weekend, but Duffy said Sam Brooks, signed from Widnes Vikings, will make his debut.

“John’s got some bone bruising and if he played we’d probably lose him for a month,” Duffy said.

Meanwhile, Hunslet have signed winger James Duckworth on loan from Featherstone until the end of the season.

Duckworth, 23, joined Featherstone from Hunslet on a two and a half year contract last year.