Featherstone miss out on high-profile targets

Featherstone Rovers have been unsuccessful in their attempts to sign Dane Nielsen and Ryan Hampshire.

TotalRL understands the Championship club entered advanced talks with both players but have been unable to complete deals ahead of today’s transfer deadline.

It’s believed Nielsen, a former Queensland representative who briefly played for Bradford Bulls in 2015, had agreed to join the club for their Qualifiers campaign with the club meeting his wage demands.

But the 32-year-old was refused a visa as he has not played enough NRL games to be applicable.

In order to be granted a visa, a player must have played in at least 50 percent of his club’s NRL games in the two most recent seasons. However, Nielsen has yet to feature for the South Sydney Rabbitohs this campaign while he played just seven times last season.

Meanwhile, Featherstone also entered negotiations with Leigh utility Hampshire, however the 22-year-old has decided to fight for his place at Leigh Sports Village instead.

Featherstone were able to match his wage demands but the youngster has decided to remain in Super League with the Centurions.

The former Wigan and Castleford talent has been absent for Leigh’s last three matches, with his last appearance coming in the 36-10 defeat to Widnes Vikings on June 22nd.

Hampshire has also been omitted from the Centurions’ final Super League matchday squad to face Salford on Friday.

He was asked to meet a deadline set by the club to ensure the deal could go ahead, however that has now passed.

It’s understood a deal is still on the table for Hampshire should he decide to change his mind at the last minute, although Rovers have abandoned their hopes of capturing the star.

The news comes as a setback to the Rovers, who have been actively trying to make high-profile additions to their squad ahead of the Qualifiers, although new head coach John Duffy is believed to be content with the squad at his disposal.

They take on Toulouse on Saturday needing a draw to secure third place in the Championship.