17 players leave top club as huge names become available to Super League

Featherstone Rovers have officially let go of 17 players some of them are huge names formerly of Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Tigers and Salford Red Devils.

This means the likes of Luke Briscoe and former Castleford Tigers star Daniel Smith are now available. Former NRL star Joey Leilua is also available as he leaves the Rovers after two seasons.

Luke Briscoe, Mathieu Cozza, Matty Wildie, Joey Leilua, Dane Chisholm, Mark Kheirallah, John Davies, Craig Hall, Junior Moors, AramaHau, James Lockwood, John Davies, Elijah Taylor, Daniel Smith, Tyla Hepi, Craig Kopczak, Johno Ford have all officially left Featherstone Rovers.

The Rovers said: “We wish to place on record our thanks to all of the above players for their efforts during their time with the club. Within that group there are players who have decided that they will retire from the game, they have served this club and the sport well. James Lockwood and Junior Moors who have been fantastic servants of this club, we thank you for your efforts and wish you well in your new ventures outside of the game.

“There are young players moving on that have their whole careers in front of them, whether here in the UK or overseas, we really do hope that your time at the club has prepared you well for an exciting future.

“Finally, we thank John Davies, Luke Briscoe and Craig Hall who have become real favourites and cult heroes in many respects, good luck to those players moving forward, you have been great servants of our Club, and you will always be guaranteed a warm welcome at The Millennium Stadium.”

The club have been proactive in terms of recruitment and retention and on this the club added: “We outlined previously that the 2024 season will be a season of rebuilding our squad. Following the disappointments of last year where we have had record commercial investment in the Club, as well as significant financial support from Mark Campbell and Steven Clough, we will focus on ticking boxes on the field not off the field.

“We felt we had to have a real crack at promotion in 2023 with the IMG changes coming into effect in 2024 and the door to Super League potentially closing in the future.

“We are pleased that all our recruitment plans are progressing in the right direction. We have already announced players of the calibre of Caleb Aekins, Gareth Gale, Gadwin Springer, Greg Minikin and Ben Reynolds who will I’m sure be some of the best players in their positions in the Championship next year. We have also made several other signings which will be announced over the next couple of weeks, starting today. I’m sure this will excite our fans but more importantly validate our approach about being a highly competitive team in the Championship next year.

Lastly, the club thanked their fans: “Our supporters have been second to none, from Newcastle to Toulouse you have followed us in numbers. We have suffered some serious disappointments in recent years and picked ourselves back up, time and again. Our goal and focus has not changed, whether its through investing in a season tickets, squad builder membership, buying the new replica shirt, every commitment you make helps us enormously. We thank you so very much for your continued support.”