Young guns take on Sharlston in friendly

ROVERS are close to finalising a work visa for new signing Tangi Ropati.
ROVERS are close to finalising a work visa for new signing Tangi Ropati.
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FEATHERSTONE’S young guns will be in action in a friendly against amateurs Sharlston Rovers Select at Bigfellas Stadium on Boxing Day (11am kick-off).

Featherstone’s line-up for the newly-arranged pre-season game will consist mainly of players from their under 23s squad.

The team is set include players who have moved up from last season’s under 18s and several young signings.

Rovers coach Daryl Powell said: “It’s a good opportunity to see our development pathway and how it’s operating and see some of the young players in action.”

Featherstone are on the verge of finalising Samoan international Tangi Ropati’s work visa.

The 27-year-old former Sheffield Eagles and Widnes Vikings centre is unlikely to play against Hunslet on January 1 but he could make his Featherstone debut in the home pre-season game against Hull Kingston Rovers the following Sunday.

Powell said: “We are more or less there now. It’s just the final stages of getting his visa application sorted and getting him over as soon as we can after that.

“I don’t think he will play in the Hunslet game. Hopefully, I think we will be looking at the game against Hull Kingston Rovers the following week.”

Powell is happy with the way pre-season training is progressing.

“It’s going outstandingly well and I’m really pleased. Conditioning, strength and skill are the main focus,” he said.

“Obviously, it is pretty tough outside at present with the conditions being up and down but the players are working exceptionally hard and I am delighted with the attitude and effort everyone is putting in.

“We’ve got a contact room at the ground that we use massively for skill and contact work.

“We’ve also done some hill running at Roundhay which is obviously pretty tough.

“It’s as tough as it gets in terms of what a rugby player has to go through. It’s an ugly hill in Roundhay Park and it’s certainly a challenge for players’ mentality. It’s a big part of what we’ve done over the last three years.”