Featherstone director Andrew McNeil says Kyle Briggs‘ move to Bradford is a compliment to the club’s “School of Excellence”.
Briggs, 23, found himself playing in Championship 1 with Doncaster before Daryl Powell spotted his potential and brought him to the Bigfellas Stadium, and it was there that he re-found his hunger for the game.
McNeil said: “Kyle Briggs and in a slightly different way, Zak Hardaker, are a measure of our success-a measure of how far we have progressed, and a measure of how good we have become at developing high quality professional Rugby League players: ‘professional’ in the way they conduct themselves as people, and in the way they approach they career.
“Increasing participation, and developing talent is at the very core of what we do as a Rugby League club. We don’t just ‘do it’ we do it to the highest standards.
“That’s why although Kyle and ultimately Zak will be missed: they are quality players and fine young men, and there is a big place in our hearts for them, and I know they feel the same about Rovers. But we have to act in a way that is good for everybody.
“Who would want to deny Kyle and of course Zak the opportunity that they’ve earned? But the club has been suitably financially rewarded in both cases, the system will go on producing and developing players and a very important message has been sent to any talented, committed young player who wants to make something of themselves.
“It’s that Featherstone Rovers is the place to make your ambitions real if you are good enough and committed enough.”
Although Rovers have declined to apply for Super League in 2012, their youth system is something which they’ll be looking to utilise ahead of a possible application in 2015.
And Briggs was quick to add his praise to the system at Post Office Road.
He said: “I owe a lot to Daryl Powell and Ryan Sheridan at Featherstone. They’ve done wonders for me over the last couple of years.