Featherstone coach Daryl Powell is relishing the challenge of defending the Co-operative Championship title in 2012.
Powell has been casting his eye over the opposition following the release of next season’s fixtures and is confident Rovers will be in the title mix again.
“The Championship gets tougher every year, which is as it should be,” he said.
“We’ve developed year on year as well. 2012 won’t be any different and we are determined to play our part.”
But Powell is predicting a stern test of his side’s title credentials and believes the opening game against Keighley will be an intriguing contest.
“But right across the competition teams have strengthened.”
Powell is also looking forward to coming up against some familiar faces in the Northern Rail Cup.
“Playing our old rivals could provide one of the outstanding games of the competition,” he said.
“Dewsbury are always an awkward proposition, and Batley, past winners of the competition, are bound to be galvanised by John Kear.
“And let’s not forget that Oldham, steadily rebuilding themselves from the foundations upward, are no mugs either. It should be fascinating.”