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.
As Featherstone prepare for a promotion fight, Sean Long has named his first team naming ex-Wigan Warriors centre Chris Hankinson in the centres with Catalans Dragons target Joey Leilua on the bench.
Meanwhile, Brandon Pickersgill starts at fullback with Warrington Wolves loanee Riley Dean starting at scrum-half in the number seven shirt.
Mathieu Cozza starts at prop on debut whilst trialist Jake Roberts is on the bench.
Here’s their team in full:
— Featherstone Rovers (@FevRoversRLFC) December 31, 2022
Andy Last, who is leading the Castleford Tigers today in the absence of coach Lee Radford, has named his side for this afternoon’s game away at Featherstone Rovers.
The Tigers are taking on their local rivals this afternoon as they prepare for the 2023 Super League season hoping to return to the play-offs in 2023 after missing out in the last round of Super League in both 2021 and 2022.
They have a number of new faces in their squad for today’s clash.
New signing and former Leeds Rhinos and Featherstone Rovers man Jack Broadbent, who is most at home in the backline, has been named at stand-off alongside another new signing in Jacob Hookem.
His former Leeds teammates Alex Sutcliffe starts at centre whilst Muizz Mustapha has been named at prop.
Exciting youngster Jason Qareqare starts at fullback whilst Daniel Smith is at 13 and Cain Robb starts at hooker with skipper Paul McShane absent.
Mahe Fonua and Bureta Faraimo start in the backs on the right edge.
Here is their team in full:
Derby day squad to face Fev locked in 🔒
Sponsored by @GeoShieldUK 🤝
— Castleford Tigers (@CTRLFC) December 31, 2022