Championship Round Five: Squad news, TV coverage & predictions

James Gordon
2023 Championship launch

Picture by Allan McKenzie/

Here is everything you need to know about Championship Round Five, including squad news, television coverage and our predictions.

Featherstone have the only remaining 100% record in the division. That gets put to the test on Monday night against Bradford. The Bulls ended both Toulouse and Widnes’ unbeaten starts to the season.

The Vikings go to Sheffield in an eye-catching tie between two of the form teams.

Barrow will be hoping to end the only winless record in the Championship when they welcome Newcastle to Craven Park.

Toulouse v Whitehaven (Saturday, 5pm)

Toulouse are without Calum Gahan (ankle), Benjamin Laguerre (shoulder) and Dominique Peyroux (hand). Sylvain Houles’ side welcome back Greg Richards and Latrell Schaumkel.

Whitehaven will take a 20-man squad to France.

Toulouse: Ashall-Bott, Schaumkel, Rennie, Jussaume, Marcon, Ralph, Shorrocks, Belmas, Hansen, Stefani, Marion, Pelissier, Akauola, Bretherton, Pezet, Armitage, Richards, Biscarro, Brochon, Guillon, Lima.

Whitehaven: Freeman, Eccleston, Taylor, Teare, Dixon, Bishop, McAvoy, Holliday, Lanskey, Doran, Newton, Tabu, Graham, Singleton, Bradley, O’Brien, Castle, Rourke, Spencer-Tonks, Ailey.

Prediction: Toulouse are yet to concede a point at home this season. Even scoring will be a success for Whitehaven.

Barrow v Newcastle (Sunday, 3pm)

Salford hooker Amir Bourouh will play for Barrow again this week after joining the Raiders on a short-term loan deal. Sam Brooks, Charlie Emslie and Ryan Shaw return for Paul Crarey’s side.

Hull pair Matthew Laidlaw and Nick Staveley are in the Newcastle squad. Gideon Boafo, Brad Gallagher, Jake Lightowler and Daniel Okoro all continue to miss out through injury.

Barrow: Bourouh, Broadbent, Brooks, Bulman, Burke, Carter, Corkill, Dawson, Emslie, Evans, Gillam, Hopkins, Iaria, Johnston, Sammut, Saunders, Shaw, Stack, Toal, Wells, Worthington.

Newcastle: Johnson, Young, Walker, Clegg, Williams, J Chapelhow, Davies, Clark, Foster, Bailey, Balmforth, T Chapelhow, Clarke, Tuiliatu, Lawther, Anderson, Moore, Flanagan, Miller, Laidlaw, Staveley.

Prediction: Bit early for a must-win game, but Barrow desperately need to get off the mark; and they should do so here.

Halifax v Batley (Sunday, 3pm)

Simon Grix has made two changes to his Halifax side that lost at Widnes on Monday night. Cole Oakley and Nick Rawsthorne replace Mahe Fonua and Suaia Matagi, who were both on dual-registration from Castleford.

Ireland international Joe Keyes won’t feature for the Panthers this weekend after failing his head injury assessment at Widnes.

The Bulldogs have international flavour amongst their ranks for this one – Kieran Buchanan (Scotland), Ben White (Germany), Elliot Kear (Wales) and Martyn Reilly (Ireland).

Halifax: Calcott, Doro, Fairbank, Gee, Inman, Jouffret, Kavanagh, King, Maher, Maizen, McComb, Moore, Murray, Oakley, Rawsthorne, Saltonstall, Tangata, Tibbs, Walmsley, Wood, Woodburn-Hall.

Batley: Buchanan, Hodson, Campbell, White, Gledhill, Leak, Hirst, Manning, Walshaw, Brown, Meadows, Kear, Ward, Lillycrop, Kibula, McGowan, Morton, Kaye, Flynn, Burton, Reilly.

Prediction: There’s not much in this one. It has the ingredients to be a cracker, but we’ll go with Halifax to bounce back.

Keighley v London (Sunday, 3pm)

Former Man of Steel Luke Gale has been included in Rhys Lovegrove’s 21-man squad. Nigeria international Sadiq Adebiyi, who came through the ranks at London, will face his former club on Sunday.

Wigan winger Abbas Miski will feature for the Broncos after the two clubs agreed a dual-registration partnership.

Keighley: Young, Stephenson, Graham, Roebuck, Agoro, Parker, Gaylor, Everett, Levy, Kesik, Spence, Santi, Dyer-Dixon, Walker, Chisholm, Storey, Ioane, Doyle, Adebiyi, Tomlinson, Gale.

London: Albert, Allen, Bassett, Bienek, Davis, Eckersley, Hill, Horsman, Hoyes, B Leyland, O Leyland, Lovell, Macani, Miski, Monk, Natoli, Parata, Stock, Ulberg, Walker, Williams.

Prediction: Both teams have only won one so far. We’ll go with home advantage for this one.

Sheffield v Widnes (Sunday, 3pm)

Sheffield’s veteran half-back Anthony Thackeray will come up against Widnes on Sunday afternoon. Thackeray spent four seasons with the Vikings between 2008-11.

The Vikings have named an unchanged 21. John Kear’s side are seeking a fourth league win of the season following Monday night’s 42-14 win over Halifax.

Sheffield: Guzdek, Jones-Bishop, Welham, Oakes, Thackeray, Douglas, Halafihi, Dickinson, Bower, J Farrell, Hodgson, Gwaze, Wood, Broadbent, Murphy, Hansen, Chrimes, Liu, Sene-Lefao, Dawson-Jones, Aston.

Widnes: Owens, Ince, Fleming, Dixon, Craven, Fozard, Amor, Wilde, Lawton, Bent, Field, Grady, Lyons, Davies, Edge, Hatton, Brown, Tilleke, Holroyd, Walker, Millar.

Prediction: Sheffield have had the measure of the Vikings on their home patch in recent years, expect that to continue.

Swinton v York (Sunday, 3pm)

Allan Coleman’s Swinton have made an impressive start to the Championship campaign, winning two from four. Former Wigan and Leigh forward Nick Gregson, now a key player for Swinton, is included in the squad.

Andrew Henderson’s side have a number of international players in their squad – Bailey Antrobus (Wales), Ata Hingano (Tonga), Ronan Michael (Ireland), Ukuma Ta’ai (Tonga) and Jack Teanby (Scotland).

Swinton: Abram, Badrock, Baker, Baxter, Brogan, Burgess, Butt, Case, Cooper, Cox, Delaney, Eaves, Gibson, Gregson, Hatton, Hill, Lloyd, Lowe, Openshaw, Romeo, Spedding.

York: Antrobus, Barnard, Brown, Clarkson, Daley, Dee, Edwards, Fitzsimmons, Glover, Harris, Harrison, Hingano, Jubb, Kirby, Michael, Price, Ta’ai, Teanby, Thompson, Towse, Ward.

Prediction: Swinton and York have won two apiece so far in 2023. We’ll go with the Lions on home soil.

Featherstone v Bradford (Monday, 7.45pm,live on ViaPlay Sports 1)

Papua New Guinea international McKenzie Yei will go up against his fellow countryman Keven Appo. Yei moved to Featherstone in the off-season, as did Appo with Bradford.

The clash promises to be a cracker, with number of former NRL and Super League players on show. The game will be broadcast live on ViaPlay Sports 1.

Featherstone: Pickersgill, Briscoe, Gale, Ford, Dean, Kopczak, Jones, Lockwood, Day, Taylor, Bussey, Wildie, Davies, Moors, Springer, Hardcastle, Leilua, Fleming, Cozza, Lacans, Yei.

Bradford: Appo, Arundel, Baldwinson, Blackmore, Butler, Flanagan Sr, Foster, Gill, Green, Hokmes, Johnson, Lawford, Lawrence, Lilley, Myers, Patton, Roby, Rogers, Thompson, Tindall, Wallace.

Prediction: A heavyweight Championship clash in front of the TV cameras. Featherstone are the only team left in the Championship to have won every game so far. We can’t look past them.

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