Rovers coach: Our partnership with Leeds Rhinos works really well

Jon Sharp: "Both coaching departments, at Leeds and here at Featherstone, and both sets of players get on extremely well."
Jon Sharp: "Both coaching departments, at Leeds and here at Featherstone, and both sets of players get on extremely well."

Featherstone Rovers coach Jon Sharp has hailed the “fantastic” partnership with dual-registration colleagues Leeds Rhinos following Friday’s pre-season friendly between the two teams.

Featherstone lost out 24-0 in a keenly-contested final warm-up match ahead of the kick-off the Kingstone Press Championship campaign this weekend.

Rovers won four of their five pre-season matches.

Sharp said: “Both coaching departments, at Leeds and here at Featherstone, and both sets of players get on extremely well.

“Our chairman and Gary Hetherington (Leeds Rhinos chief executive) are really close friends as well, so the partnership is much more than a dual-registration agreement.

“It works really well for us and Leeds, with players who have spent a number of years here with us now becoming Super League regulars.

“Likewise it allows us to benefit from the use of players who are closing in a first-team spot with Leeds, helping both Featherstone and the player in question develop.”

Sharp was content with the outcome of Friday’s encounter, with Sunday’s season opener at Halifax now fast approaching.

The Rovers chief added: “We got a lot out of the game, it was a good exercise for us and will we benefit from it.

“I am very pleased in terms of where we are at going into the first league game and I have a good idea now of what our line-up is going to look like.

“The Rhinos game helped confirm a fair few decisions in my mind. Now it is up to us to put everything into practice and start the season well, on Sunday.”

The action returns to The Big Fellas Stadium on Sunday February 12 when Rovers host Oldham in their first home game of the Championship campaign.