Championship Round Six: Squad news, TV coverage & predictions
Here is everything you need to know ahead of Championship Round Six, including squad news, television coverage and our predictions.
Following the latest round of Challenge Cup action, the Championship is back with Round Six.
Sean Long’s Featherstone remain unbeaten, with five wins from five so far in 2023, although they were knocked out of the Challenge Cup last weekend to Halifax. Toulouse have recorded four from five, while Sheffield have also enjoyed an impressive start to the season with four wins and sit third in the table.
There are two games on Saturday this weekend, followed by four on Sunday and the televised match on Monday on Viaplay.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Championship Round Six
Newcastle v London (Saturday, 3pm)
Joining from Hull on a short-term loan deal, Connor Wynne has been thrown straight into Chris Thorman’s Newcastle squad.
He is joined by Hull team-mates Denive Balmforth, Matty Laidlaw and Nick Staveley to feature in the 21-man squad. Gideon Boafo, Jake Lightowler and Daniel Okoro all continue to miss out through injury.
Having only arrived in England earlier this week, Papua New Guinea international Emmanuel Waine has been included in London’s squad for Saturday’s clash. Jacob Jones has also been named after joining the club on a five-week loan deal from Leigh.
Newcastle: Johnson, Young, Walker, Wynne, Clegg, Williams, J.Chapelhow, Davies, Clark, Foster, Gallagher, Bailey, Balmforth, T.Chapelhow, Clarke, Tuliatu, Lawther, Moore, Miller, Laidlaw, Staveley.
London: Albert, Allen, Bassett, Bienek, Davis, Grant, Horsman, Hoyes, Jones, B.Leyland, O.Leyland, Lovell, Macani, Natoli, Parata, Raiwalui, Stock, Ulberg, Waine, Walker, Williams.
Predictions: Both sides have only claimed one win in five so far this season. And we’ll back the hosts – just. Thunder by six.
Widnes v Toulouse (Saturday, 3pm)
Kieran Dixon returns to Widnes’ squad after recovering from illness which has left him unavailable for the previous two fixtures.
It is an unchanged Toulouse squad that defeated Whitehaven 72-10 at home.
Widnes: Owens, Ince, Fleming, Dixon, Craven, Fozard, Amor, Wilde, Lawton, Bent, Johnstone, Field, Grady, Lyons, Davies, Edge, Hatton, Brown, Tilleke, Holroyd, Walker.
Toulouse: Ashall-Bott, Schaumkel, Rennie, Jussaume, Marcon, Ralph, Shorrocks, Belmas, Hansen, Stefani, Marion, Pelissier, Akauola, Bretherton, Pezet, Armitage, Richards, Biscarro, Brochon, Guillon, Lima.
Predictions: It’s a split office on this one – of course – but I’m going with the visitors by 18.
Bradford v Sheffield (Sunday, 3pm)
Leeds trio Liam Tindall, Leon Ruan and Corey Johnson are all named in Bradford’s squad, joining on dual-registration. Bodene Thompson (concussion), Michael Lawrence (hamstring) and George Roby (suspension) all miss out.
The Bulls have also confirmed that Brad England is set for a spell on the sidelines with a thumb injury.
Jason Bass and Liam Kirk return to Sheffield’s squad.
Bradford: Appo, Arundel, Baldwinson, Blackmore, Butler, Flanagan Snr, Foggin-Johnston, Foster, Gill, Green, Holmes, C.Johnson, J.Johnson, Lawford, Lilley, Patton, Rogers, Ruan, Scurr, Tindall, Wallace.
Sheffield: Guzdek, Jones-Bishop, Welham, Oakes, Bass, Thackeray, Douglas, Halafihi, Dickinson, J.Farrell, Hodgson, Gwaze, Wood, Broadbent, Kirk, Murphy, Chrimes, Roberts, Sene-Lefao, Dawson-Jones, Aston.
Predictions: This is lined up to be one of the games of the season. It’s going to be a close encounter, and we’ll back Sheffield by eight.
Halifax v Keighley (Sunday, 3pm)
Leigh loan signing Jacob Gannon is in line to make his Halifax debut, replacing Ben Forster in the squad. Nick Rawsthorne returns for the recently departed Ryan King.
The club have also recently announced the signing of full-back Brandon Pickersgill from Featherstone on a deal until the end of 2024. He has however not been named.
Keighley have included new recruit Joe Gibbons, who has joined the side on season-long loan from Leeds.
Halifax: Calcott, Doro, Fairbank, Gannon, Gee, Inman, Jouffret, Kavanagh, Keyes, Maher, Maizen, McComb, Moore, Murray, Rawsthorne, Saltonstall, Tangata, Tibbs, Walmsley, Wood, Woodburn-Hall.
Keighley: Young, Stephenson, Graham, Parker, Gaylor, Everett, Levy, Kesik, Spence, Santi, Dyer-Dixon, Walker, Roby, Story, Iaone, Doyle, Adebiyi, Tomlinson, Gibbons, Gale, Webster.
Predictions: Halifax by 18.
Swinton v Featherstone (Sunday, 3pm)
Riley Dean returns to Featherstone after being recalled by Warrington last week. Sean Long’s side look to bounce back from their exit from the Challenge Cup, knocked out by Halifax last weekend.
Featherstone: Hall, Gale, Dean, Kopczak, Jones, Lockwood, Day, Taylor, Widlie, Davies, Moors, Springer, Hardcastle, Cooper, Leilua, Fleming, Aekins, Cozza, Lacans, Yei, Evans.
Predictions: Hard to see anything but a Featherstone win, although Swinton did somewhat surprise spectators with their win over Batley earlier this season. The visitors by 22.
York v Whitehaven (Sunday, 3pm)
Ata Hingano returns to York’s squad. Following his season-long loan move from Hull KR, Connor Barley is also included.
Tom Walker returns to Whitehaven’s squad, recovering from a broken hand that has seen him sidelined for several weeks.
York: Antrobus, Barley, Brown, Clarkson, Daley, Dee, Fitzsimmons, Glover, Harris, Harrison, Hingano, Jubb, Krmond, Marsh, Michael, Price, Ta’ai, Teanby, Thompson, Towe, Ward.
Whitehaven: Freeman, Eccleston, Taylor, Teare, Dixon, Bishop, Walker, Holliday, Lanskey, Aiye, Doran, Newton, Tabu, Graham, Singleton, Bradley, O’Brien, Castle, Rourke, Spencer-Tonks, Ainley.
Predictions: York by 22.
Batley v Barrow (Monday, 7:45pm, Viaplay)