New signings quickly settling in at Featherstone

New Zealander Chris Ulugia is looking forward to playing alongside Misi Taulapapa in the three-quarters at Featherstone next season. Picture: Paul Butterfield.
New Zealander Chris Ulugia is looking forward to playing alongside Misi Taulapapa in the three-quarters at Featherstone next season. Picture: Paul Butterfield.

New recruits Keal Carlile, Michael Knowles, Chris Ulgulia and Richard Moore are all settling in well at Featherstone Rovers.

All four have completed the first two weeks of pre-season training ahead of the opening friendly at Halifax on Boxing Day.

Carlile will fulfil a childhood dream when he plays for the club he supported as a youngster.

The 26-year-old former Hull KR and Sheffield Eagles hooker said: “I supported Fev as a kid. I grew up in Pontefract and played for Featherstone Lions.

“As I kid it was always my dream to play at Rovers.

“I got a chance to come here and I think I’m at the right time of my career and I’m really looking forward to it.

“I’ve got a lot of friends and family who are Rovers fans and my little boys have supported Fev even when I’ve played for other teams.

“I think it will good for my family and friends and personnally as well. I can’t wait to pull on the Fev Rovers jersey and step out at Post Office Road.”

Rovers have now been back in training for over two weeks .

“We started training on October 31 which I think is the earliest I’ve been in all my career but it can only be a good thing,” added Carlile.

“It gives us a chance to gel and it will hopefully put us on the front foot. I think all the new boys have settled in really well. There’s also players who have been here quite a few years and also the coaching staff and they’ve made everyone feel welcome.

“I think we’ve had a really good first couple of weeks.”

Carlile has joined Rovers from Sheffield, along with former Castleford forward Michael Knowles.

“The facilities at Rovers are top-notch and it’s close to home so it was a no brainer to sign here,” said 29-year-old Knowles.

“I’m just trying to add to the team and make it better.

“It’s a good group of lads at Featherstone and they’ve welcome me in.

“The training has been tough. Conditioner Bill Mallinson has got us whipped into shape quite early on.”

Knowles is relishing playing at Big Fellas Stadium in front of the vociferous Featherstone fans.

“It gets rocking down at this ground and it’s a big help when you’ve got the crowd behind you,” he said

Moore will also add experience to Featherstone’s pack after being snapped up from Halifax.

“It’s a really good place to be and the standard of facilities is great, said 35-year-old Moore who has also played for Bradford, London, Leigh, Wakefield, Crusaders and Leeds in a long career .

“There’s everything you need here. It’s like a full-time environment. I know we are part-time but everything is set up for you,”

“I already knew quite a lot of the lads here like Matty Wildie and Darrell Griffin.

“They told me it was a great bunch of lads here and everyone is really welcoming.

“I’m just trying to get my head down for the start and work really hard and do whatever Jon Sharp asks of me. “

New Zealander Ulugia is looking forward to playing alongside Misi Taulapapa in the three- quarters next season.

“Everyone knows Misi is a quality player who performs well every game,.” said 24-year-old Ulugia who has joined Rovers from Batley Bulldogs.

“It’s great to be in the same side and train alongside him. He really shows his professionalism.

“The training has been pretty tough but I’m really enjoying it. Everyone at the club is friendly.”

Centre Ulugia helped Batley qualify for the Championship top-four last season. The Bulldogs finished third, just one place above Featherstone.

He added: “When I was at Batley, one of the top goals was to get in the top-four but when we got there we didn’t really perform. I know Rovers struggled in the Super 8s with injuries and stuff so hopefully we can turn that around next year.”