New boy Hardcastle quickly makes his mark with Rovers

Josh Hardcastle (right) in action for Rovers in Sunday's game at Halifax. Picture: Carol Austerberry.
Josh Hardcastle (right) in action for Rovers in Sunday's game at Halifax. Picture: Carol Austerberry.

NEW SIGNING Josh Hardcastle was delighted to bag two tries on his competitive debut for Featherstone Rovers in Sunday’s 32-26 win at Halifax in the opening Championship fixture.

The former Featherstone Lions three-quarter signed a two-year contract with Rovers last month after a successful trial spell which included a two-try display in the Boxing Day pre-season game at Halifax.

The 24-year-old received a last minute call-up for another appearance at The Shay last Sunday after Rovers were hit by late withdrawals.

“It was a tough game but we ground it out and got the result,” said Hardcastle.

“It’s always nice to score tries but it’s always down to the other lads doing the hard yards and I just get the glory at the end.

“I only got the call on Saturday night that I could be in the mix, so it was all very last minute.

“It was a great game to be a part of and we were buzzing to get the two points, especially against Halifax, at their place.

“I just hope I did enough to convince Jon (Sharp) and the rest of his coaching team to give me another go, this weekend, against Oldham.

“I know game-time is going to be hard to come by this season, simply because we have such a talented squad here. Everyone is battling for one or two positions – and we have a lot of quality cover.”

Featherstone’s first home league game is against Oldham this Sunday.

Hardcastle, if selected, will make his second competitive appearance in Rovers colours.

“Oldham will provide us with a real test this weekend, I am hoping to get out there,” he added.

“They will be confident after beating Sheffield but we are feeling very optimistic too. We were up against it last weekend, at Halifax, and overcame a great deal of adversity to get the two points.

“We will not be taking a backwards step on Sunday, that is for sure, the boys are more than aware of what is at stake this season.”

Hardcastle has been training at Big Fellas Stadium for the last four months and he believes the benefit is reflected in his on-field performances.

“When things are going well you tend to get on a roll and I’m feeling stronger with the work I’m doing in the gym,” he said.

“It’s more down to the training than anything but I think I’m getting there.”