FEATHERSTONE coach Daryl Powell will field several of the club’s high-rated youngsters in tomorrow’s (Sunday) Carnegie Challenge Cup game against Hunslet Old Boys at Bigfellas Stadium.
Young half-back Jack Bussey (pictured) and forward Lewis Jones will be in a strong Rovers team for the third round tie against the Pennine League amateurs.
Skipper Stuart Dickens will be back after completing a two-ban suspension but Tim Spears is still unavailable because he is serving the second part of a two-match ban.
Powell said: “It will be a strong team on Sunday but there will be some players from our under 23s who have earned the right to have a go in the first-team.
“The under 23s have started the season exceptionally well. I’m really pleased with the way they’ve gone about things. They were really strong against Halifax last Friday.
“The attitude they are showing is really pleasing and I think Danny Evans is doing a fantastic job with them.”
Props Dom Maloney and Mick Haley are set to be given a breather this weekend along with Andy Kain.
Said Powell: “I want to top up Dom Maloney and Mick Haley’s fitness levels so they are going to be doing a lot of work this week.
“Andy Kain has played a lot of rugby for us and he’s playing excellently at the moment. He looks sharp whether he’s at six or nine and some of the things he did against Leigh were pretty special for us.”
The Rovers boss will not underestimate BARLA Yorkshire Cup holders Hunslet who are currently second in the Pennine League’s Premier Division.
“We’ll have a really strong team on the field. We are playing against amateur opposition but we are not going to go into it disrespecting anybody,” he said.
“It’s about us playing well and performing. We want to try to get some consistency in the way we are performing at the moment while at the same time giving some fringe players an opportunity.
“It pretty impossible to get any videos of amateur teams. We’ll focus on ourselves and make sure what we do is as good as possible. Obviously, if we are on our game we are a tough team to beat and that’s what we are aiming for.”
Powell was happy with Featheerstone performance in the 36-16 win against Leigh Centurions.
“We are getting there,” he said.
“I thought we restricted ourselves a bit against Keighley the previous week but we opened up against Leigh and we looked a lot crisper and sharper.
“I thought we were good and we’ll get better as well. We spent a massive amount of time defending in the second-half on the back of a couple of poor decisions and a couple of errors from ourselves. We certainly had a defensive work out in the second-half.”
Powell will be checking on centre Greg Worthington who was injured against Leigh.
“Greg got a bang on his shoulder but he’s had an x-ray and I think it should be okay. I think he’s just got bone bruising which will be sore for him,” he said.
“Greg is playing exceptionally well. He’s a quality young player who is getting better all the time. He’s a good young kid as well so I’m really pleased with the way he’s gone about the season to date.”
Latest £500 Rovers lottery winners are M Watts (P1514), S Coates (B6250), R McDonagh (B3231), L Barrott (A3312), J Pickard (C3672). £5 consolation prizes: L Hobbs (W3043), P Hirst (V0823), M Loftus (V1542), K Tonks (W1542), J Cox (V0211).