Featherstone Rovers could be thin on numbers when they travel to Bradford Bulls in the Challenge Cup fifth round on Sunday afternoon (writes Ben McKenna).
Head coach Ryan Carr does not expect Watson Boas, Thompson Teteh or Conor Carey to be fit in time for Sunday’s fixture at Odsal.
Boas and Teteh both came off injured in Rovers 38-14 fourth-round success over Swinton Lions at the end of March. Carey has been sidelined for most of the year with a hand injury.
The Bulls narrowly beat Rovers when the sides met in their first Betfred Championship game of the season, Dane Chisholm’s drop-goal giving Bradford a 17-16 win at Odsal.
Rovers are unlikely to have any players made available by dual-reg partners Leeds Rhinos.
“Thompson won’t be available this week and probably won’t be ready the week after either,” confirmed Carr.
“Watson and Conor are week to week at the moment but I don’t expect to see any of them this week to be honest.
“I don’t expect any of them to play over Easter.”
He added: “Odsal is a tough place to play. We will need to see who is fit, this week will be a different-looking team again.”
Reserve half-back Jorge Richardson has filled the void at half-back in Featherstone’s last two outings and Carr has praised reserve head coach Paul March for his work with the club’s reserve side.
Paperwork prevented Leeds Rhinos youngster Callum McLelland from making his debut for Featherstone in last week’s defeat in France, leaving Richardson to be called upon last minute.
Carr added: “We had Callum McLelland fit to play, he travelled with us and had trained all week. But his registration never went through, so I got a phone call on Friday night in France and was told the RFL wouldn’t allow him to play. So we told Jorge he was in on Friday night, so for him to get late notice like that, with no training under his belt, I thought he did a great job for the team.
“Credit to Paul March, he has done a really good job with the reserves. They had a really good win at Wakefield last week.
“Wakefield had a fair few Super League players playing, so they are doing a really job.
“And Marchy has done great in training them to a level where they are ready for first team.
“Full credit to Jorge, he jumped in having not trained all week with the team.
To go over to Toulouse and concede only eight points and be in with a chance of getting something until the end is credit to the playing group.”
Carr has been pleased with Rovers’ defensive efforts in the last two outings, with his side conceding just 22 points in 160 minutes.
He said: “It is something we knew that we wanted to be consistent with. Leigh got us for 29 , Widnes got us for 44 and Dewsbury scored 32 against us. Other than that, we have been pretty good.”