Rovers forward Hock looking forward to facing former club Leigh Centurions

Gareth Hock in action on his 300th career appearance against Sheffield last Sunday. Picture: Rob Hare.
Gareth Hock in action on his 300th career appearance against Sheffield last Sunday. Picture: Rob Hare.

FEATHERSTONE’S FORMER England forward Gareth Hock is relishing visiting his old club in Sunday’s Betfred Championship game at Leigh.

He made 53 appearances for the Centurions before joining Rovers on a one-year contract in January.

“I’m really looking forward to playing in front of the Leigh fans,” said Hock.

“Leigh are a good club. I really enjoyed my time there and I’ve got a lot of good friends there.”

The 34-year-old, who has also played for Wigan, Salford and Widnes, marked his 300th career appearance in Featherstone’s 58-14 win against Sheffield last Sunday by setting up a try for Josh Hardcastle.

“I’ve a lot of good memories from the 300 appearances and it’s a good achievement. It should be about 550 games if it wasn’t for my bans excetera,” he added.

“They are a great bunch of lads at Featherstone and I’ve really slotted in with them all.

“Everyone has made me feel welcome and I’m really finding my feet here and enjoying it.

“I had to step in and take over the hooker’s duties when I set up the try last Sunday. It was a good ball actually - I was quite proud of myself.

”We had two props down so there were three of us swapping from the bench.

“I think it’s the longest I’ve played since I’ve come back.

“I’ve been getting fit after an operation on my knee so that’s why I’m a bit behind on stuff. It was good to get a good blast out.”

Rovers coach John Duffy is delighted to have Hock at LD Nutrition Stadium.

“Gaz is really happy at the club,” said Duffy.

“To have him at Featherstone is fantastic because there’s no ego. He’s a great lad and he’s great to coach. It was a big occasion for him last Sunday with it being his 300th career appearance. The boys wanted to get the win for Gaz.

“I thought Gaz was superb. He slotted himself in at dummy half and threw the ball out for a try so he was gloating a bit in the changing room afterwards.”

Featherstone’s line-up this Sunday will include another ex-Leigh Centurions player in playmaker Martyn Ridyard who Rovers snapped up on a two-year deal. The 31-year-old half-back made 222 apearances for his hometown club Leigh, scoring a total of 1,797 points.