Duffy backs Championship to be star attraction in 2018

Featherstone coach Jon Duffy has one simple tip for everyone this year – watch the Championship.

The second-tier promises to be stronger than ever before in 2018, with the likes of Toronto and Leigh fighting it out with Featherstone, Toulouse and London.

Last year’s almighty scrap for a top-four spot had everyone hooked throughout the year, with Halifax finally securing their place in the Qualifiers on the final day.

Duffy, who is preparing for his first full year in charge at Featherstone after joining midway through last season from Swinton, believes the competition will be even stronger again following the eye-catching recruitment of the Centurions and the Wolfpack.

“If you were a fan this year it would be a fantastic year to have a season ticket,” he said.

“With the teams in the league this season and the squads they’ve got, you’d be stupid not to go and watch.

“It’s going to be the toughest season the Championship has seen, I’m absolutely sure of that.”

Featherstone themselves have spent big in the off-season and have made a number of high-profile signings in the shape of Martyn Ridyard, Gareth Hock and Tom Holmes.

The Rovers are being heavily tipped to secure a third straight top-four finish, and after overseeing the recruitment ahead of the season, Duffy is excited by what his side can achieve.

“We have got a really good squad so people are going to tip us, aren’t they?

“I’m excited. With the quality we’ve got, you have to be excited.

“Obviously, the time I came in last season from a supporters’ view wasn’t the right time. But I learned so much about myself and the players that I’ve been able to plan off the back of that.”