Lions centre Hardcastle signs two-year contract with Rovers

Josh Hardcastle (left) shakes hands on a two-year Rovers contract with head coach Jon Sharp.
Josh Hardcastle (left) shakes hands on a two-year Rovers contract with head coach Jon Sharp.

Centre Josh Hardcastle tonight signed a two-year contract with Featherstone Rovers after a successful trial spell.

Hardcastle has played in all Featherstone’s three pre-season matches so far.

The 24-year-old, who has spent the last three months at Big Fellas Stadium, scored two tries against both Halifax and Hunslet and he was a second-half substitute in last Sunday’s game against York City Knights.

Hardcastle, who previously played for National Conference League side Featherstone Lions, said: “I am really pleased to have been made an offer and I did not need to hesitate before signing a contract here.

“To play for your hometown club is a big honour and I am really excited about the weeks and months ahead.

“Jon Sharp has put together a formidable squad, so I am under no illusions, I will have to fight for my spot and take my chances if and when they come.

“I just want to keep giving my best and keep pushing for a place in the team. Pre-season training has been very tough, making the transition from amateur to professional rugby, but I feel I am progressing well.

“What is pleasing is to see the link between Featherstone Lions and Featherstone Rovers beginning to form, as we have Dave Kitchen and Aaron Lyons also on trial here.”

Rovers head coach Jon Sharp is hopeful of a bright future for Hardcastle.

He said: “Josh impressed us right from the start, his attitude and approach has been fantastic.

“We offered him the chance to join us for training one night per week and he has turned up for all four sessions, every week, without fail, ever since.

“He has gone the extra mile and his performances on the field have forced us to move quickly in terms of nailing him down as a member of our squad.

“Josh is another great addition for us and I am excited to see how we he develops as the new season progresses.

“I would like to thank Featherstone Lions for their cooperation and support in helping us get the deal done with Josh. It is great to see something of a partnership forging between the two clubs.”