For the first time in years, the rivalry between Featherstone Rovers and Castleford Tigers will again renew as the two teams meet on the eve of a new year.
The Rovers are hoping to secure promotion into Super League in 2023 after a difficult season in 2022 which promised much but didn’t deliver the success many would have envisaged.
As for Castleford, 2023 needs to be the year that they return to the play-offs after missing out in the last round of 2021 and 2022. So, this game is the first step on that journey for both Castleford and Featherstone as we head into 2023.
Kick-off time and TV channel
The game kicks off at 12pm at The Millennium Stadium at Post Office Road today,
Unlike the game between Leeds Rhinos and Wakefield Trinity, this friendly will not be available on the Our League App but can be watched on Tigers TV.
Featherstone Rovers Team News
A number of new faces will be on display with five players expected to make their debuts in the blue & white – including trialist Jake Roberts who has been handed a trial period through the Rovers’ 2023 pre-season.
An impressive debut from Roberts could secure a dream move.
Former Catalans Dragons Mathieu Cozza is also set to featured as is Warrington Wolves loanee Riley Dean who will likely start in the halves.
Ex-Wigan Warriors centre and Toulouse Olympique star Chris Hankinson is also set to feature.
Star man Joey Leilua is named after he turned down a move to Catalans Dragons.
Luke BRISCOE – sponsored by Forge Build Ltd
Jack BUSSEY – sponsored by DK Landscapes
Luke COOPER – sponsored by J. Middleton & Sons
Mathieu COZZA – sponsored by Fev Rovers Banter Page
John DAVIES – sponsored by RG Carpets
Brad DAY – sponsored by Chiorino
Riley DEAN – sponsored by Fev Rovers Banter Page
Johnathon FORD – sponsored by PFI Mechanical Services Ltd
Craig HALL – sponsored by East Yorkshire Shutters
Chris HANKINSON – sponsored by Agrovista Amenity
Josh HARDCASTLE – sponsored by Mick Robinson Sunshine Tours
Craig KOPCZAK – sponsored by Ross Travel Group
Thomas LACANS – sponsored by Fev Rovers Banter Page
Joey LEILUA – sponsored by Hugh Taylor
James LOCKWOOD – sponsored by J. Middleton & Sons
Brandon PICKERSGILL – sponsored by Fev Rovers Banter Page
Gadwin SPRINGER – sponsored by ZS Surveys
Matty WILDIE – sponsored by Install Solutions
Castleford Tigers Team News
The team will be coached by Andy Last with head coach Lee Radford still having time off following his role as an assistant coach in Samoa’s brilliant World Cup run.
The side that Last has selected features five new signings in what is a very inexperienced and possibly experimental side.
🎇 𝗙𝗘𝗩 𝗙𝗥𝗜𝗘𝗡𝗗𝗟𝗬 𝗦𝗤𝗨𝗔𝗗 𝗡𝗔𝗠𝗘𝗗
Sponsored by @GeoShieldUK 🤝
Andy Last has named a youthful 20-man squad for the New Year's Eve derby with local neighbours @FevRoversRLFC
Full story (with updated ticketing info) 👇#COYF
— Castleford Tigers (@CTRLFC) December 29, 2022
Castleford announced the team news via their website and released the following statement with the squad reveal.
“The youthful squad will be looking to start the Fords’ pre-season campaign with a win over one of our nearby Championship neighbours, with matches against Keighley Cougars, Whitehaven and Huddersfield Giants to come ahead of the 2023 Betfred Super League campaign.
“Saturday’s game will present the Fords faithful their first chance to see new recruits Jack Broadbent, Bailey Dawson, Jacob Hookem, Ilikaya Mafi and Muizz Mustapha.
“Oliver Agar, George Hill & Elliot Wallis could be in line to make their first appearances for our senior side since joining the Tigers Reserves set up during 2022, as could Academy products Hugo Nikhata and Aaron Willis after making the step up into the First Team pre-season for the first time this year.
“Following the exciting announcement of Castleford’s partnership with Midland Hurricanes too, Conner Gilbey, Courage Mkuhlani and Ben Stead have stepped into the team to represent our link with the League One outfit.”
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