How Featherstone could line-up in 2022

Joey Leilua

With the recent signing of Joey Leilua from the NRL, Featherstone are shaping up to be one of the strongest for the 2022 Championship competition. 

The Rovers progressed to the Championship Grand Final last season, falling to a 34-12 defeat to Toulouse, who will feature in the Super League next season.

Brian McDermott will take charge of Featherstone in 2022 with the departure of James Webster, as the side will be looking for yet another push to the top division.

The Post Office Road side have recruited a handful of talented, experienced players for next year. Those include Ben Hellewell, Luke Briscoe, Brandon Pickersgill and Jesse Sene-Lefao. 

Here’s how they could look in 2022…

1 Brandon Pickersgill

Brandon Pickersgill

Featherstone have signed full-back Brandon Pickersgill for the 2022 season from Bradford. He progressed through the Bulls’ academy, and will be competing with former Super League player Craig Hall for the number one shirt in 2022.

2 Gareth Gale

Gareth Gale is one of the highlight try scorers in the Championship, and has impressed in recent times at the club. He recently signed a new deal that takes him until the end of the 2023 campaign.

3 Joey Leilua

One of the stand-out signings of the off-season for the upcoming Championship campaign, NRL centre Joey Leilua will join Featherstone in 2022. The Samoa international has made more than 200 appearances Down Under, appearing for Sydney Roosters, Newcastle Knights, Canberra Raiders and Wests Tigers.

4 Craig Hall

Danny Kirmond tackles Craig Hall

With the arrival of Pickersgill, Hall may find himself in the centres in 2022. Although, he will be competing with Josh Hardcastle for the remaining spot in this position. He won the Championship’s Player of the Year award in 2021.

5 Luke Briscoe

Luke Briscoe in action for Leeds

Featherstone have re-signed winger Luke Briscoe from Leeds for the 2022 Championship season. The 27-year-old scored 43 tries in 44 appearances for Rovers between 2017-18 prior to his move to Leeds. In 2018, he broke a try scoring record as he scored in 17 consecutive games surpassing Martin Offiah’s record of 15.

6 Morgan Smith

Morgan Smith in action for London Broncos

Half-back Morgan Smith makes the move to his hometown club from Championship rivals York for the 2022 campaign. He suffered a season-ending injury in a training accident back in February and missed the entire season. He is the grandson of Featherstone legend, Peter.

7 Dane Chisholm

Dane Chisholm in action for Featherstone

Dane Chisholm recently extended his contract for the 2022 season, having played a key figure in their success over the last two years. He has previously appeared for Melbourne Storm, Hull KR, Bradford and Sheffield.

8 Craig Kopczak

The former Super League prop signed a new deal for the 2022 season with Featherstone earlier in August. He has made more than 300 career appearances across stints with Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Salford and Wakefield. He has also won 22 caps for Wales.

9 Matty Wildie

Matty Wildie

Featherstone announced the re-signing of Matty Wildie from Leigh on a one-year deal. Wildie left the Rovers in 2018 and has since played in the Championship with Bradford before representing Leigh in the Super League. He has made more than 150 career appearances for Wakefield, Dewsbury, Featherstone, Bradford and Leigh.

10 Jack Bussey

Jack Bussey Featherstone

With the departure of James Harrison to Super League outfit Warrington, Jack Bussey might be promoted to a first-team shirt. The former London and Toronto forward has made more than 140 career appearances, and wore shirt number 16 in 2021. He featured from the bench in the Championship final.

11 Ben Hellewell

Scotland international Ben Hellewell has joined Featherstone on a one-year deal. He returns to the club for his second stint, having also previously featured for the likes of York, London and Leigh.

12 Jesse Sene-Lefao

Jesse Sene-Lefao

Jesse Sene-Lefao joins following 100 appearances for Castleford, helping the Tigers on route to the League Leaders’ Shield in his debut season. He will no doubt be an eye-catching addition to the Championship in 2022.

13 James Lockwood

Featherstone captain James Lockwood has extended his contract for the 2022 season, having led them to 1895 Cup success last season. Lockwood can feature at back-row, loose forward or at prop.

Bench

Featherstone’s strong squad extends from their starting 13, and head coach McDermott will have a selection headache if the majority of his squad can stay injury-free next season.

Connor Jones, Callum Field and John Davies will be among the names that will be competing for a spot in their push to promotion again in 2022.

Bench: Junior Moors, Brett Ferres, Tom Holmes, Luke Cooper.

READ MORE: The greatest Grand Final performance of all time? Rob Burrow for Leeds in 2011

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