FEATHERSTONE ROVERS are gearing up for their toughest challenge of the season so far.
Coach Ryan Carr’s in-form side visit Widnes Vikings in the 1895 Cup tonight (8pm) and back up away to Sheffield Eagles on Sunday afternoon.
“Two games in five days, both away games, is never easy,” warned Carr whose team are on a four-match winning run.
“But it is what it is, we will crack on and just focus on Widnes first and then build into Sheffield later in the week.”
Rovers have climbed to fourth in the Betfred Championship, but Carr insisted the new knockout competition is not a distraction.
“It is something we definitely want to be competitive in, for sure, ” he said of the 1895 Cup.
“There’s a big draw card if you make it to the end of it, to get to Wembley.
“We’ve got a hard first game, but we are going to try and make sure we keep working on what we’ve been doing for the last few weeks.”
Rovers will be relatively fresh, having not played last weekend.
The tie was pushed back to tonight as Widnes played Sheffield in a rearranged league game last Friday. And Carr said: “We had chance to freshen up and an extra half a week to prepare for Widnes.
“I have got to make sure I look after the players’ welfare, we’ve got two games on 3-g pitches in five days so I have got to get the balance right.”
Dual-registered forwards Corey Johnson, Owen Trout and Wellington Albert – against his former club – are set to make their Featherstone debuts.
Fellow Leeds Rhinos player Callum McLelland is also included in Rovers’ squad, but there is no place for Ashton Golding or Luke Briscoe.
Cameron King, Tom Holmes, Brad Day, James Lockwood and Josh Walters are all rested, but Jimmy Beckett could feature after returning from a loan spell at Keighley Cougars.