Featherstone Rovers were given a triple boost in their final pre-season match at amateurs Lock Lane when Australian three-quarter Jy Hitchcox and French international half-back Remy Marginet made impressive debuts and Andy Bostock made a successful comeback after injury.
Marginet, 25, who has joined Rovers on a month’s trial, played for France in last year’s European Cup and was the tournament’s top points scorer with five tries and 14 goals.
“The Lock Lane game was a really good exercise for us and we got a lot out of it,” said Rovers coach Andy Hay.
“We had a good look at the players who have just joined us and we also had a good look at Andy Bostock who has come back from his injury.
“Bostock has worked hard. Although he’s not been in full training with us, he’s been doing a lot of weights and a lot of conditioning to get himself in good shape.
“He looks a lot better than he did last year when he was carrying the injury and it was a really good run out for him last Saturday.
“He looked good with his off-load game and he was difficult to handle
“It was tough conditions for everyone underfoot but I thought Jy Hitchcox showed some class.
“He looks like he will be a good player for us. We did our homework on him and he’s got some pace and skill.
“Remy Marginet arrived on Friday night and I sat down with him and did a bit of video. I showed him some plays and other things we do.
“He’s a very smart player and his English is pretty good, although the local accent may prove a little more difficult when we all get together and talk quickly.
“He looked very sharp and he’s obviously got good vision and a good kicking game. He is probably better than I expected.
“We have close links with Richard Agar and he told us about Remy after the European Championships. He will have a four-week trial and then we’ve got to make a decision at the end of that.
“With Andy Kain going and with Ryan Millard not coming in, I thought we needed some back up to increase the options in the halves. It also puts a bit of pressure on the other players which I think you need.”
Luke Cooper, who bagged two tries, was among the other Rovers players who impressed in the 48-10 win against Lock Lane.
“It was an opporttunity for some of the young guys to show themselves just before we start the season,” said Hay.
“Luke Cooper played with a lot of enthusiasm and took his chance. He proved at that level and within our team he’s got value.
“It’s made the choice a little bit harder for the 17 to face Hunslet.”
New signing Garreth Carvell wasn’t risked in Saturday’s match after joining Rovers two weeks ago.
“Garreth has been in with us for two weeks and he’s not really done a lot of training before that,” said Hay.
“We need Garreth to be upto speed, not just with with what we are doing but with his own fitness.
“He wasn’t quite ready to play against Lock Lane and I didn’t want to put him in that game and risk a niggle.
“We’ll see where he’s at for the Hunslet match. If he’s not 100 per cent and he’s not looking like he’s in front of someone else, even though he’s got the experience and he’s a big name player, he won’t get a spot. We’ve a lot of competition in the forwards.”
Rovers are still awaiting the arrival of Australian signings Ryan Verlinden and Reni Maitua.
“We are still waiting for Ryan’s Irish passport and we are still waiting for Reni’s visa process to go through. It could happen any time but it’s not happened yet,” said Hay.
“I know both players have been training hard over there so they will up to speed with fitness. It will just be a case of them getting to grips with our game plans and everything we do at Featherstone.
“They are quality players and I’m sure they’ll fit in pretty quickly when they get here.”
Rovers season tickets are valid for Monday’s game at Wakefield. Ground admission is £18 adults, £12 concessions annd £5 juniors.
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