Briggs close to making Rovers return

Rovers star Kyle Briggs missed most of last season because of knee surgery. Picture: Bob Nunn.

Rovers star Kyle Briggs missed most of last season because of knee surgery. Picture: Bob Nunn.

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Featherstone Rovers half-back or loose-forward Kyle Briggs is close to fitness after missing most of last season because of knee surgery.

Centre Sam Smeaton is also on the road to recovery after a second knee operation.

“Kyle Briggs is pretty close now,” said Featherstone’s head coach John Bastian.

“Matty Crowther (physio) has worked really hard with Kyle who has been relentless in getting himself fit.

“There is a bit more long term work to do with Sam Smeaton. Obviously, he has only just recently had another operation but he has shown a lot of character. It has been a nasty injury and we are very hopeful he is going to get back on the playing field.”

New boss Bastian will be linking up again with 21-year-old centre Ben Hellewell, who has made a big impact with Scotland in their World Cup campaign.

Bastian said: “I know Ben well through his time at Warrington Wolves and I’m certainly looking forward to working with him again.

“He didn’t get lots of opportunities last season but he’s certainly excelled in the World Cup and done himself and Featherstone Rovers great credit.

“He’ll come back after he’s had a short break and he’ll earn the right to get into the team like the rest of the boys.”