Doncaster forward Ross Peltier has a busy month ahead, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
After recently becoming involved in the Green Party, the 29-year-old has since been chosen to represent the party in the upcoming by-election in the Batley and Spen constituency.
It now means he faces the challenge of balancing an election campaign, his job, his rugby career and a young family. But it is a challenge he is relishing.
“There is a lot going on so it is busy, but that’s how I like to be,” said Peltier, who would gain a seat as an MP in Parliament if he is victorious in the by-election, which takes place on Thursday, July 1.
“I like to keep myself occupied with different things and this is something completely new, so I’m just enjoying it.
“It was a new opportunity for me and experiences like this don’t come around too often.
“There are a lot of good people in the party who are behind me and supporting me. They have been doing this for years so we have sat down and thought about how we’re going to get the message out. We’ve just got to get out there now and get the word out.
“Rugby is still a priority for me as well though so I will always make sure I’ll make training. But Rich (Horne – coach) and the club are always very supportive and understanding. They know that there are other commitments outside of the club, so as long as you are committed when you’re there, if you have to miss the odd session they are very understanding.
“I have thought about what would happen if I did win the by-election because it would change things. I would just have to see how the timings all worked out and take things as it comes.
“Hopefully I would still have time to do everything, but I’ll just have deal with that if it happens.”
LONDON SKOLARS coach Jermaine Coleman will be without inform winger Omari Caro for another two weeks at least as the Jamaican international chases an spot at the Tokyo Olympics next month.
The 30-year-old, who scored an impressive five tries against West Wales Raiders recently, has linked up with the Jamaica Rugby Union 7s squad, who are currently preparing for the final qualification stages ahead for the Games.
“Omari is on fire at the moment so it is a big loss for us to be without him,” said Coleman.
“It looks like he’ll miss the next two games, but be back in time for our trip to Keighley at the end of the month. That’s also when we go into camp with Jamaica, so he’l also be back for that.
“I know clubs can be a bit tetchy about losing players, but I have never stood in anyone’s way if they have other opportunities given to them.
“As much as it’s not ideal to lose players, this was something he wanted to be a part of. I know how important it is to him to represent his heritage and country so there was no way I would stand in his way of doing that.
“He’ll have an amazing time and come back to us happy to have been involved. He probably won’t be too refreshed from the time away though, because 7s is not the easiest to play, but he’ll be raring to go and I look forward to welcoming him back into the group.”
WORKINGTON TOWN coach Chris Thorman believes the work his side did in pre-season will show its reward throughout the year as they continue to build on their promising start.
Prior to Sunday’s visit of Keighley, Town had won three out of their opening four matches and had remained relatively healthy in the early stages of the year.
“We only have Jake Lightowler struggling with a hamstring niggle, Ryan Wilson is still recovering from a broken foot and Elliott Miller is a long term casualty with a back and a hamstring problem,” explained Thorman.
“In general we’ve got through the first few games relatively fit, which is good after coming back into it after so long out.
“You sometimes need a bit of luck like that, but you also need to know how to manage your players and understand them.
“As a coach I need to understand that it’s no good players working a 13-hour shift doing manual labour, for me to then flog them again at training. So that needs to be considered.
“I’m a big believer that foundations are laid in pre-season and that you make fit and durable athletes with all the work you do in pre-season. I definitely feel like we’ve done that and that will hold us in good stead for the rest of the year.”
COVENTRY BEARS coach Richard Squires has called on his squad to build on their recent victory over Rochdale Hornets.
The Bears beat Matt Calland’s promotion hopefuls 38-30 at Butts Park Arena last weekend, with Squires now wanting that result to prove a catalyst for the remainder of the year.
“I always new that sort performance was in the guys,” said Squires.
“It has always been there, it was just waiting for the boys to let it out of the bag.
“We’ve been confident from the start with what we’ve got at the club and we learnt from the Barrow game in round one what we needed to do to see games out.
“It’s all about self confidence now, focusing on ourselves and having a good week leading into games. But we can’t get over-confident. We backed our own ability against Rochdale and that showed in the result.
“The lads just need to realise how good they can be when they perform. If they play like that week in week out there is no reason why we can’t get more results like that and be pushing for the play-offs at the end of the year.”
Squires also confirmed that centre Niall Sydney has been ruled out for the season after further investigations showed the knee injury sustained in pre-season was a ruptured ACL
BARROW RAIDERS coach Paul Crarey is not letting his players get too carried away after their unbeaten start to the season.
The Raiders made it five wins from five when they travelled to West Wales on Saturday and currently sit on top of the League 1 table with a 100 percent record.
“We have progressed each week that we have played,” said Crarey, who has also seen his side pick up wins against North Wales, Hunslet, Keighley and Coventry.
“But I have told the lads we can’t be complacent. As soon as we start to believe the hype that we’re favourites for promotion, that’s when we’ll start to lose. So they need to keep their feet firmly on the ground.
“We do know the favourites tag is there, but we use that as motivation, because we know every team is going to want to be at their very best to beat us. So we know we have to be at our best so that won’t happen.
“All sides will improve as the year goes on, and we’ve definitely improved in terms of attitude and mindset. Training has gone up and we know we need to be at 100 percent every week.”
KEIGHLEY COUGARS coach Rhys Lovegrove wants to turn Cougar Park into a fortress this year.
The former Super League star knows how close picking up wins at home could prove in what promises to be a tight promotion race at the top of the league.
So far this year the Cougars have won two of their three home games this season, narrowly missing out against Rochdale Hornets last month.
“Home advantage is always a big thing,” said Lovegrove.
“We experienced that when we travelled to Barrow. You can really see what an advantage home games are to those Cumbrian teams when others have to put in the miles and hours to get there.
“We have got to make our home form a big thing for us this year. We must make sure that our performances at Cougar Park really step up and make it a difficult place for other teams to come to.”
Meanwhile the club have released Jamaican international Zach Braham from the remainder of his contract after making just two appearance this year.
HUNSLET have acted quickly to snap up former fans favourite Zach Braham, who was released from his contact at Keighley Cougars last week.
The South Leeds side have also added further experience to their ranks with the signing of former Sheffield, Batley and Dewsbury three-quarter Alex Brown, with both players going straight into the squad that faced Rochdale on Sunday.
“It’s great to have Zach back,” said coach Gary Thornton.
“He was a proven performer with us and I didn’t want him to move to the Cougars. He’s found the travelling difficult and we’re welcoming him back with open arms, particularly as we’ve had little luck on the injury front this season.
“Alex Brown trained with us during the close season but was unable to sign as he works on security at Manchester United and would have been regularly unavailable for playing and training. Now that the soccer season is over, though, he’s free and is a key acquisition, especially right now.”
The addition of the duo will help offset some further injuries blows at the club.
Prop Harry Kidd suffered a broken arm in the defeat at Keighley, while Vila Halafihi remains sidelined with a wrist injury. However Jimmy Watson returned to the squad to at the weekend after recovering from his knee injury and Will Cooke may be available to face London Skolars this weekend following a leg injury.
ROCHDALE HORNETS chairman Andy Mazey will be keeping a close eye on any latest lockdown developments coming out of Downing Street in the next couple of weeks.
Currently crowds at sporting events remain limited, but this could change if a planned lifting of restrictions does go ahead as originally planned on June 21.
If this is the case, the Hornets could play their first home game in front of supporters in a full house.
“We are currently in a situation where we are in a run of away games because of maintenance work on pitch,” said Mazey
“It is five away games in a row so we’re not actually at home again until Sunday, June 27.
“At the moment it’s a case of watching this space as to how many fans we’ll be allowed in because it could change between now and then. So in that regard it wasn’t as much of a rush for us to work logistics out as it was for some other clubs.
“I’m a great believer in looking at the positives. So for me, to have the amount of homes games we’re going to have later in the year and during the summer is going to be great for us.
“It might feel like a bit of a tough ride right now, but when we’re fully back into the swing of the season we’ll face a a run of home games and it will be a good time to hit our best form.”
NORTH WALES CRUSADERS coach Anthony Murray is hoping once his side get over some early season injury knocks, they can start stringing some results together.
Having beaten London Skolars on the opening day, the Crusaders then lost out narrowly to Hunset and going down to Workington and Barrow before Sunday’s visit of Coventry.
“There has been some positive signs but, because of injures, we’ve yet to have the same side out in any game,” said Murray.
“I am hoping we can soon get some players back and have a similar looking team taking to the field on a regular basis we can start to get a bit of consistency behind us.
“Continuity will be the key for us and if we can get that within the team we put out, we feel we can push on and go on a bit of a run.”
If they are to start that run of good form, they will be no better time to start than this weekend when Doncaster travel to the ZipWorld Stadium.
The Welsh government announced last week that crowds will be permitted to return to stadiums from today (Monday), meaning Crusaders supporters will be able to watch their side in action for the first time since February last year.
WEST WALES RAIDERS coach Aaron Wood has said Saturday’s game against Barrow was the perfect opportunity for a number of the younger players in his squad to test themselves against some the very best in the league.
With injuries and suspensions keeping several more senior players sidelined, Wood handed more first-team game time to Charlie Bodman, Ryan Shallish and Ewan and Ieuan Badham.
“We have got a fair few injuries at the moment so Saturday was a chance to give some of the younger members of a the squad a bit more game time,” said Wood.
“It was good to give them another chance to show what they can do.
“It was a tough ask, but Barrow are a good, strong, professional team so I’m hoping these guys will use it to see what these top teams do and gauge themselves on how far off them they are.”
Wood also confirmed that Rangi Chase will be available to face Keighley on Sunday after serving a suspension, while Gavin Henson, Morgan Allen and Morgan Evans could all be fit for the trip to West Yorkshire, but Tom Morgan and Uraia Naulusala, who injured a hamstring in training last week, are still a couple of weeks away from recovery.
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