Featherstone Rovers confirm departure of former Super League pair as exit tally creeps up to 19

Ben Olawumi
Chris Hankinson, Ellis Longstaff

Chris Hankinson (left) & Ellis Longstaff (right) have both departed Featherstone Rovers - Alamy

Featherstone Rovers have announced the departure of both Chris Hankinson and Ellis Longstaff ahead of the 2024 season, taking the exit tally from Post Office Road up to a whopping 19 players.

Having failed in their efforts to get promoted to Super League, losing out on home soil to London Broncos in the Championship play-off semi-finals, Fev saw a mass exodus with 17 names on their ‘departures’ list.

Amongst those were Elijah Taylor, who has reunited with former head coach Sean Long in League 1 at Oldham, and ex-NRL powerhouse Joey Leilua, who returned Down Under.

Now, two further names can be added to the departures list in Hankinson and Longstaff, both of whom boast Super League experience on their CV.

Featherstone Rovers confirm departure of former Super League pair Chris Hankinson and Ellis Longstaff as exit tally creeps up to 19

Featherstone announced the pair’s decision to move on via their X account – @FevRoversRLFC – this morning.

Centre Hankinson has already featured in Super League for Wigan Warriors & Toulouse Olympique, and may well be heading back there.

The club state he will “pursue other opportunities”, with Examiner Live reporting that the 30-year-old is on his way to Salford Red Devils.

Paul Rowley’s side yesterday lost winger Ken Sio, meaning that Papua New Guinea international Nene Macdonald may well be pushed out to the wing, leaving a gap in the Red Devils squad for a centre.

Still only 21, Longstaff too has previously donned a Salford shirt, playing six games as a loanee from Warrington Wolves earlier this year before making the permanent move to Featherstone.

The young back – as the Rovers state – will “take some time out from the game”, with no plans to pen a deal elsewhere just yet.

As we understand it, the pair’s departure leaves Featherstone with just nine of their squad from this year – Caleb Aekins, Jack Bussey, Brad Day, Gareth Gale, Josh Hardcastle, Connor Jones, Thomas Lacans, Gadwin Springer & McKenzie Yei.

Additions including Ben Reynolds from Leigh Leopards and Greg Minikin from Warrington Wolves have already been made, in addition to a dual-registration partnership being agreed with Super League outfit Hull KR for 2024.

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