Spencer ruled out of cup clash

JACK Spencer, injured in the 14-0 win at Whitehaven, won’t be fit for Sunday’s clash with Yorkshire amateurs Featherstone Lions in the third round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup at the Vestacare Stadium (3pm kick-off).

The former Barrow and Halifax forward left the field at the Recreation Ground early in the second half, clutching an elbow.

He didn’t train on Tuesday night when further examination revealed the elbow had been forced back against the joint.

It’s nothing serious, but he won’t be available this weekend,” confirmed coach Scott Naylor. “It’s not long since he did it and we’ll have a better idea when it’s settled down.

Spencer appeared to be the only injury victim from a rugged forward battle in the Cumbrian mud so Roughyeds will be looking to field a strong side against a Lions outfit that has downed pro opposition in the past and will be going flat out to do it again.

By signing all three of their trialists from NCL premier division club Siddall, near Halifax — Zack McComb, Ben West and Joe Martin — Roughyeds have considerably strengthened their back division while taking the number of players they have under contract to 24.

For the time being at least, that would appear to signal the end of signing activity, given that Naylor also has the back-up of a dual-reg agreement with Salford Red Devils.

“I’m very happy with the size and quality of the squad now and I wouldn’t expect to be bringing in any more players at the present time,” he said.

There’s a nice mix of 13 forwards and 11 backs, more than half of whom are new signings this year as Roughyeds go all out to regain their Championship status at the first time of asking.

So far, so good. Naylor’s new-look class of 2018 have already posted a Law Cup win at Rochdale; a 52-6 win against Keighley Cougars in a friendly at the Vestacare; and a 14-0 triumph up at Whitehaven on the opening day of the Betfred League 1 campaign, their first win there in 17 years.

Three home games in a row now beckon on successive Sundays — Featherstone Lions this Sunday in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup; Hemel Stags in the league the week after; and then one to really savour in the visit of the resurgent York City Knights, whom quite a few judges would tip to be the League 1 surprise packets of the season.

Now that one should be an absolute cracker.



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