Championship club could be set for major signings

Being able to play against Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves Hull FC and of course Super League and World Champions St Helens week in and week out is the pinnacle of British rugby league.

In fact you could argue, as seen by Toulouse Olympique and Catalans Dragons, that it is the pinnacle of European rugby league in general.

For so long however promotion to Super League has seemed like a poisoned chalice with every promoted side suffering relegation but Leigh Leopards are proof that with the right recruitment you can climb that table with the Leopards second in the league and 80 minutes away from Wembley.

Featherstone Rovers, who were hoping to rival Leigh in the Championship last year, are hoping to use the Leopards as a blueprint to achieve the same.

The Rovers sit top of the Championship and have made many statement signings but it seems they could make more on the back of their new 100 club with Martin Vickers saying that the initiative can help the club “fine tune” the squad for the run in.

They have less than half a month to make their move and it would be smart given the fact that they have suffered some huge setbacks in the shape of a number of long term injuries as confirmed by the club recently.

“We have picked up three injuries that look like big injuries,” Aaron Scholes said, the club’s doctor said on Twitter.

“Jack Bussey has had a successful operation on his syndesmosis injury and fractured fibula.

“His return to play time looks like being three months which would see him back before the end of the season.

“Josh Hardcastle’s injury is a fairly big injury with a lot going on with ligament issues and a couple of fractures in his knee.

“The specialist said he could be back within three months as well.

“Brad Day is a little bit lighter in terms of the injury. He has suffered a medial knee ligament injury and could be back within two months.”

Other than these long and complicate injuries, there is a blow to Junior Moors as well as he suffers a broken thumb:

“Junior Moors went off with a fractured thumb. He has had surgery this week and will see a specialist on Tuesday. It’s about a six-week mark to come back into training.”

However, the biggest blow has only such been struck. Not only is it a blow to the squad, it is an emotional blow as well for the club and players as Josh Hardcastle has suffered a stroke as confirmed by the club on social media shortly after we saw something similar with Leeds star Zane Tetevano.

The club said:

“Josh Hardcastle will be sidelined for a prolonged period having suffered a stroke last Tuesday. Josh is receiving support from the club as well as Rugby League Cares. Everyone at the club wishes Josh well in his recovery.”