Super League hopefuls recruit Warrington Wolves youngster on permanent deal

With IMG grading criteria coming into being from next season it could be the case that this is the last season with true one-up and one-down promotion, and Championship leaders Featherstone Rovers are going all in on the dream of cracking Super League.

Sean Long’s side have only lost twice this season, once in the Challenge Cup and once again in the league, both losses coming at their home ground.

Despite that though Featherstone are cruising to the title but in play-off rugby league anything can happen and that’s another key reason why they’re recruiting so strongly, bringing in Super League talent.

The most recent acquisition is Ellis Longstaff from Warrington Wolves with the 21-year-old second-rower making a permanent move with immediate effect.

Warrington announced the news via the club’s website.

“Warrington Wolves can announce that Ellis Longstaff has joined Featherstone Rovers on a permanent transfer with immediate effect.

“The 21-year-old second-rower came through the club’s Academy system and had spent the initial part of the 2023 season on loan at Salford Red Devils.

“Longstaff will now join Rovers with the club having accepted a transfer fee from the Championship side.

“We wish Ellis well in the next chapter of his career.”

Salford, with whom Longstaff has been on loan this season, also announced that they the loan had been terminated with immediate effect.

This is the second Wire youngster who has headed to Featherstone, albeit Riley Dean only moved on loan at the start of the season and is now playing at Castleford on another loan deal.

Longstaff’s permanent signing is a coup for Featherstone but one that came at a cost as revealed by Warrington who stated they had “accepted a transfer fee” from Rovers.

The second-rower commented on the move via Rovers’ club website.

“I’m really pleased to be joining this club, I’m an Ackworth lad so it feels like I’m coming home. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in, working with Sean Long and the boys, and playing my part in getting this club into Super League.” Ellis Longstaff.

Longstaff will join Sean Long’s squad immediately and will be in contention for selection this weekend in a hotly anticipated encounter with third placed Batley Bulldogs. James Ford commented:

“It’s a huge boost for us to be able to bring in a player of Ellis’s ability and potential. He will compete for a place in the back row or centre and bring a wealth of energy, tenacity and aggression to our side. I’m very confident that the Blue Wall will enjoy Ellis’s style and approach.”

Sean Long added: “We’ve kept a keen eye on Ellis for a while, before this season even began. He’s a talented young player, and being local, he understands this club, its culture and what is expected of players wearing that Rovers badge.”