FORMER Castleford Tigers half-back Tom Holmes says his Featherstone Rovers debut “cannot come soon enough.”
The 21-year-old aims to help Rovers become a “dominant force” in the Kingstone Press Championship after joining them on a one-year contract from their Super League neighbours.
Holmes already has Championship experience, having scored three tries in eight appearances for Batley Bulldogs last season on loan from Castleford.
“My first game for Featherstone cannot come soon enough. I want to get out there and impress because competition for places will be high next year,” said Holmes.
Under new coach John Duffy, Featherstone will aim to clinch a place in the Super 8s Qualifiers for a third successive year, having finished fourth in the Championship for the last two seasons.
Next year’s Championship clubs will include relegated Leigh Centurions and newly promoted Toronto Wolfpack.
“Next season is shaping up to be one of the toughest ever at this level with so many strong teams making up the Championship,” added Holmes.
“But everyone at Featherstone is relishing what it is to come. I believe it will be great for the club and for me as a player.
“There are a bunch of full-time teams in the mix, which will only help us be better prepared for what will hopefully come at the end of the season.
“Tougher opposition, week in, week out, will make us better as a team. I just cannot wait to get started.
“I can’t wait to rip into pre-season training and move towards playing for Featherstone for the first time.
“This is going to be a very different challenge for me. I am hoping to earn greater game-time and really kick on, while helping the Rovers become a dominant force in the Championship.”
Rovers start pre-season training in two weeks’ time.
“There is a really good squad already in place for next year and I am sure the lads are looking forward to meeting the new faces and getting back into it,” said Holmes.