Rovers duo set to be fit for Leigh play-offclash

Captain Stuart Dickens holds aloft the League Leaders' Shield after Rovers clinched top spot in the Co-operative Championship for the third  successive season with Sunday's 46-4 win against Keighley Cougars. PICTURE: BOB NUNN.
Captain Stuart Dickens holds aloft the League Leaders' Shield after Rovers clinched top spot in the Co-operative Championship for the third successive season with Sunday's 46-4 win against Keighley Cougars. PICTURE: BOB NUNN.

FEATHERSTONE skipper Stuart Dickens and winger Tommy Saxton are set to be available for next Thursday’s play-off clash against Leigh Centurions at Bigfellas Stadium.

Saxton missed last Sunday’s 46-4 win against Keighley Cougars because of a back injury while prop Dickens sustained a head injury in last weekend’s match.

Both players are expected to be fit for next week’s game against second-placed Leigh when the winners go straight through to the Grand Final.

Featherstone coach Daryl Powell said: “Stuart got a knock on his head and also hurt his neck but hopefully it isn’t too bad. He’s got over a week to rest and recover and get himself treated so he should be okay.

“Tommy hurt his back earlier in the week and he was just struggling to get about. It would have been a risk to play him last Sunday and I didn’t think we needed to take that risk.”

Rovers are without a game this weekend but there will be no let-up in training for the players as they bid to reach the Grand Final for the third consecutive year.

Powell said: “It will be a tough week for us. Obviously, it’s a week off from playing but we need to be at work. We play best after having tough training so we’ll train hard this week and then taper down next week before the game on Thursday.

“It’s a big month for us, there’s no doubt about that. We have a month left in the season and hopefully it will a two-game season from here on in and we’ll get the job down next Thursday and then we’ll be in another Grand Final.

“The play-offs are like a mini-cup competition. We are the defending champions and we want to retain the title but we will have to play well. All the teams that in the play-offs are tough sides to play against and anyone can win it. We are going to need to be right on top of our game.”

Former Hull, Halifax, Castleford and Dewsbury prop Dom Maloney is set to leave Featherstone at the end of this season.

Maloney joined Rovers in January on a one-year contract after a spell in Australia.

Powell said: “Dom has turned down the offer of a contract. He is looking to finish this season is a positive way but it looks unlikely he will be at the club next year.”

Featherstone’s goalkicking winger or full-back Tom Carr is joining York City Knights next season.

Said Powell: “Tom has signed for York next year and we wish him all the best.”