Upfront: The League Express opinion – Mon 5th July 2021
Anyone fancy a pint at the Rovers Return?
For both Hull Kingston and Featherstone continue to show their ambition to reprise former glories.
As revealed on League Express’s website TotalRL.com on Friday, Hull KR are keen to sign former Super League Dream Team fullback Lachlan Coote from St Helens.
And Wembley-bound Featherstone put on a Saturday-evening show of power by beating Championship promotion rivals London Broncos by 49 points.
Hull KR fans will certainly have been concerned last year when former Chairman and backer Neil Hudgell confirmed his intention to leave the club, and Tony Smith’s side finished bottom of Super League after only three wins in 17 matches.
But with Hudgell bringing Paul Lakin back to KR as CEO after a spell in football with Wolves and Stoke City, crucial stability in running the club seems to have been achieved.
While momentum has been slowed by three consecutive postponements after a Covid outbreak in the camp, Rovers will go into the scheduled visit of Warrington on Sunday seeking a seventh win in eleven Super League outings and with their play-off hopes very much alive.
Then there is a home Hull derby on Thursday, July 15 to look forward to.
Before their move for Coote, Rovers made serious plays for Warrington’s Australian star Blake Austin and their England centre Toby King.
And the Scotland and Great Britain international is set to join an exciting backline featuring Ryan Hall, Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Brad Takairangi.
Like Kenny-Dowall, forwards Kane Linnett, Matt Parcell, Luis Johnson and Jez Litten have signed contract extensions, as have backs Ethan Ryan, Jordan Abdull.
Featherstone, meanwhile, made it eleven wins from eleven league games in seeing off the Broncos 63-14.
James Webster’s side, who look set to go toe to toe with Toulouse Olympique for a place in Super League, which will be decided through top-six play-offs, have chalked up more than 500 points in the process, with Gareth Gale crossing for 19 tries and Craig Hall 14.
Featherstone head to Widnes on Sunday before their big 1895 Cup final clash with York at Wembley on Saturday week, July 17.
It’s their first visit to the national stadium since 1983, and anticipation levels are understandably high.
In a boost for the profile of the Championship, the game, which precedes the Challenge Cup final, is to be screened live by the BBC on its red button and iPlayer.
The BBC’s coverage will begin before the noon kick-off, and will then transfer to BBC One at 2pm for their live and exclusive coverage of the Castleford versus St Helens clash.
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