Rovers rocked by Morrison injury

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FEATHERSTONE forward Iain Morrison is set to be sidelined for two months with a broken finger.

The 27-year-old Scotland prop (pictured) sustained the injury in Sunday’s 33-22 win at York in only his second competitive game following an eight-month lay-off because of major knee surgery.

And Wakefield Wildcats have recalled dual registration hooker James Davey.

With Ross Divorty out for a further two months with knee trouble and close-season pack signing Mick Haley also injured, Rovers coach Daryl Powell could now look to sign a dual-registration prop.

Haley missed the York match because of a quadriceps (thigh) injury.

Powell said: “Iain Morrison has broken a finger and it looks like he could be out for a couple of months. Obviously, it’s very disappointing news for Iain and for us. It’s a spiral fracture and he doesn’t need an operation so hopefully he’ll be okay.

“Mick Haley pulled his quad in training last week so he was missing last weekend but I am hoping he will be all right for this Sunday.

“A dual registration prop signing is a possibility. We’ll see how things go over the next week or so but if Mick Haley doesn’t come through this week we are under pressure a bit. I think we can manage it - we’ve got some pretty tough forwards at the club - but it does make life a bit difficult when you haven’t got your specialist props available.

“An area where I thought we were pretty strong we are looking a little bit light at the moment. We’ll just have to patch people up during the week and hopefully we’ll have enough in terms of firepower up front at the weekend.”

Winger Tommy Saxton is also doubtful for Sunday’s trip to Barrow after he sustained a quad injury at York.

Said Powell: “Tommy Saxton got a knock on his quad and had to come off at half-time. Zak Hardaker came on and went on the wing so it was a strong replacement.

“I think Tommy is probably doubtful for the weekend but we’ll see how that goes throughout the week.”

After winning their opening two Northern Rail Cup matches against Doncaster and York, Rovers complete the group stages by visiting Barrow on Sunday and hosting Widnes Vikings the following Saturday.

Like Featherstone, Barrow and Widnes have both won their first two games.

Powell believes Rovers need to win at least one of their last two group matches to make certain of qualifying for the knock-out stages.

He said: “Last year we fell short by a point in the group stages. This time we need to make sure we win at least one of these next two games, although obviously we’ll be looking to win them both.

“They are a couple of really tough games for us so we’ve got to front up and play well.

“We are away from home against Barrow and there’s a bit of travelling involved so we are going to have to manage ourselves well through the week and come up with a really strong performance.

“Barrow have a strong team and physically they are pretty big. Jamie Rooney is a clever player at number six and they’ve got Zeb Luisi in the pack who pretty tricky on his feet. They’ve also got Ned Catic and Liam Harrison in the centres so they’ve got threats in wide areas.

“We are going to have to be very good defensively.”

Powell is hoping Rovers can repeat last season’s 20-6 victory at Barrow.

He said: “Since I’ve been at Featherstone we’ve only had one performance that let us down a bit at Barrow and that was the first time we went up there. Since then we’ve been really strong when we’ve played there and hopefully we will be able to maintain that run.

“We are looking forward to the game. These are the challenges you look forward to in rugby league.”

Powell was satisfied with last weekend’s win at York.

He said: “Overall, it was a good effort from us. It was tough and we had to grind out a win. That is something that is important to be able to do so I was pleased with that element of our performance.”