Casualty Ward: Joey Leilua expected to return for Challenge Cup & Stefan Ratchford latest

Joey Leilua Featherstone

Featherstone and Championship star Joey Leilua is expected to return to action for this weekend’s Challenge Cup action.

Joey Leilua, 30, missed the club’s recent 20-20 draw with Batley in the Championship. He was ruled out with a slight groin issue.

He is expected to return for Featherstone’s trip to Catalans in the sixth round of the Challenge Cup this weekend. The game is set to be played on Saturday.

Stefan Ratchford latest

Warrington full-back Stefan Ratchford left the field in the second half with an injury during the club’s defeat to Wakefield on Saturday.

Ratchford, 33, was injured trying to prevent a second half try from Matty Ashurst. His side went on to fall to a 38-22 defeat at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Head coach Daryl Powell said in his post-match conference that Ratchford is unlikely to feature in the Challenge Cup. They face Trinity once again on Sunday, with a 2:00pm kick off. The clash will be broadcast live on Premier Sports.

Team-mate and forward Joe Bullock is set to miss the next three to four weeks with an elbow injury.

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Castleford suffered a handful of injuries during their defeat to Wigan. Joe Westerman had gone to hospital with an eye injury, while Cheyse Blair and Gareth O’Brien also suffered knocks.

“We’ve averaging three injuries a week at the minute,” said head coach Lee Radford following the game.

“Westerman has gone to hospital with his eye. Blair has a cut on his hand that may have gone through the ligaments. Gareth O’Brien also left the field with a nose injury.” 

Jordan Turner missed the clash with a fractured hand.

Hull KR forward Albert Vete picked up a knock in their loss to Catalans in Perpignan on Friday. He left the field in the second half with a calf injury.

Kallum Watkins says he expects to be back in April following a lengthy period on the sidelines with injury.

He told Love Rugby League: “I’m progressing on well and I’m probably looking around mid-April time to be back playing. 

“Hopefully I’ll be fully training in the next few weeks. I’ve still got to do a little bit of testing at the end of the month to give me the all clear. But it’s going really well.”

Wakefield’s Bill Tupou has not played since sustaining a ruptured patella tendon in June last year. He could return in the next four or five weeks, head coach Willie Poching has confirmed.

St Helens without key trio

St Helens travelled to France without key trio Alex Walmsley, Joe Batchelor and Sione Mata’utia. The latter had been hit with a two-match ban, but has also suffered an injury that will keep him out of action for the next three to five weeks. 

Wigan head coach Matt Peet confirmed no new injuries following his side’s victory on Thursday. Ethan Havard returned from injury and scored a try in their 32-22 victory.

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About Josh McAllister 1313 Articles
Journalist. Joined the Love Rugby League team full time at the start of 2022 having been a freelance reporter for several years. Previously media manager for Swinton and Rochdale.

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