Derby rivals meet in first match

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FEATHERSTONE Rovers Ladies are all set for their second season at their new home at Bigfellas Stadium.

They kick off their Women’s League Premier Division campaign with a home derby match against Castleford Panthers Ladies this afternoon (Sunday). The game starts at 2pm.

Rovers coach Brenda Dobek (pictured) is expecting a challenging campaign in the new era of summer rugby.

“It’s going to be a much tougher season this year,” she said.

“Warrington and Bradford are as ever going to be a threat, but there are new sides in the competition such as Coventry and Nottingham. These teams come from a rugby union background and have more physicality about them. I reckon they’ll be strong defensively.

“We spent a lot of last year finding our way at Rovers, putting down roots, becoming part of the club scene but there’s still a lot of work to make us really part of the place.

“I suppose that will happen when we start to get more and more local girls and women involved. One of my targets is a junior team and it’s an important aspect of my role as a coach. It’s interesting and satisfying to introduce youngsters into a team and help them develop.

“We’ve brought new players in and we have to make them gel to become part of the unit.

“Within a season or two some of our senior players will be retiring so we have to keep the supply of young players coming through to open-age going.”

Rovers have signed Shona Hoyle, Hanna Bairstow and Danny Bound who are all in the 17 to 18 age group.