FEATHERSTONE Rovers have put out a statement aiming to provide clarity regarding yesterday’s consultation with the Rugby Football League and the other Championship and League One clubs that resulted in a dispensation for the teams contesting Sunday’s Championship Shield final to register additional players, on loan.
The club’s statement reads:
“Rovers were set to fulfil this week’s fixture with 15 players, as has been the case throughout the majority of the club’s successful Championship Shield campaign.
“Following last weekend’s match between Leigh Centurions and Dewsbury Rams, in which the Centurions were only able to field 13 players, Featherstone have been in contact with their Shield final opponents, in an attempt to ensure they would be able to field a strong side at the LD Nutrition Stadium.
“Last week’s events damaged the integrity of the sport and the club is determined to prevent similar issues having a negative impact on a final which should provide a pleasant end to the season for its supporters.
“The club is relieved that the RFL granted the request for the Centurions to be able to bolster their squad and this will also enable us to make additions to a team where players have had to battle hard over the last two months. This will add to the product on offer to supporters on Sunday afternoon and compensate for the decision to ban two of Featherstone’s fit players.
“The club is frustrated that similar dispensations could not be made at the start of the Betfred Championship Shield, when it initially made a request, but is thankful that the RFL have finally shown some common sense.
“Featherstone Rovers would also like to send a huge thank you to its squad of players, who have repeatedly shown spirit and ground out results with no complaints, throughout the course of the Championship Shield campaign. They earned the right to host this final and the club hopes they receive the reception they deserve for their efforts.
“It was never in doubt that the Championship Shield Final would go ahead and the club was disappointed to see this cast in doubt by the Leigh Centurions statement, which was released as the dispensation was being agreed. The club does understand that the Centurions are currently under a lot of financial strain however, and hope they can recover significantly enough to join us in a challenge for the play-offs in 2019.
“Featherstone Rovers will announce a major signing later today, who will assist the club in its own 2019 challenge. For now though, concentration is firmly on claiming the Championship Shield.”