Injury-ravaged Rovers stretched to the limit

Former Rovers half-back Gareth Moore is set to face his former club on Sunday. Picture: James Hardisty.
Former Rovers half-back Gareth Moore is set to face his former club on Sunday. Picture: James Hardisty.

Featherstone Rovers coach Jon Sharp says he is struggling to field 17 fit players in Sunday’s Kingstone Press Championship game against Halifax at Big Fellas Stadium (3pm).

Sharp’s small squad has been stretched to the limit with the loss of injured Kyle Briggs, Colton Roche, Anthony Thackeray, Michael Channing, Steve Snitch and Matty Wildie.

“Halifax have hit some form and they will be a massive challenge but my biggest challenge will be getting 17 blokes on the field,” said Sharp.

“I think we are beyond being down to the bare bones. With the injuries, it takes me down to 16 or 17.

“We can’t bring anyone in to freshen the team up which is ideally what you want to do after Easter because there isn’t anyone.

“I’ve got just 16 or 17 blokes and they won’t train now until Friday and we’ll see what we’ve got then. It’s very much about counting bodies and seeing who is fit.”

On Sunday, Rovers will aim to maintain a 100 per cent home record this year .

They lost seven home league matches last year, including a 44-20 defeat against Halifax, but there has been a huge improvement in 2016 with victories over Batley Bulldogs, Oldham, Dewsbury Rams and Sheffield Eagles in the first four fixtures at Big Fellas Stadium.

They face a stern test this weekend against Halifax who achieved two wins over the Easter period.

Halifax won 42-28 at Oldham on Friday and then inflicted Bradford’s first defeat this season by beating them 14-10 at The Shay. Fax’s starting line-up against the Bulls on Monday included former Featherstone players Sam Smeaton, Tommy Saxton, Gareth Moore, Ben Kaye and Dane Manning.

Meanwhile, former BDO world darts champion Jelle Klaasen will make hisfirst appearance at Big Fellas Stadium tomorrow evening (Friday).

Klaasen will feature in Featherstone’s third darts night in the Cappers Bar following visits from Eric Bristow and Wayne Mardle.

Klaasen will play exhibition darts and take part in a question and answer session with Sky Sports darts commentator Nigel Pearson.

Rovers commercial Manager Paul Taylor said: “All VIP tickets sold quickly but we have a good supply of standard £10 tickets available at the club and people will also be able to pay on the night.

“There will also be a raffle for some great prizes and the chance to play against Jelle.”

Tickets are available at the Rovers office and club shop and at the Cappers Bar.