ROUGHYEDS have negotiated an extension of half-back Harvey Spence’s loan agreement with Featherstone Rovers until the end of the season.
Rovers have covered themselves, however, by including a recall clause if they need him themselves.
The Yorkshiremen, currently lying second in the Betfred Championship, are expected to go through the play-offs and meet Toulouse Olympique in the Grand Final for the right to go up to Super League.
In stark contrast, Roughyeds are scrapping for Championship survival, but the likelihood that they will have Spence’s services for their last three games against Widnes away, Newcastle Thunder at home and Dewsbury Rams away will be regarded as a step in the right direction.
They have had further boosts on the injury front with Dave Hewitt (leg), Martyn Reilly (hand) and Gareth Owen (ankle) returning to normal training — Reilly with his hand strapped up — after being injured in last Sunday’s 48-10 defeat by Super League aspirants Featherstone.
Barnstorming Tyler Dupree, a massive success story in a disappointing season, was concussed in the same game and, of the four, he is probably the biggest doubt for Sunday, given that he is undergoing the RFL’s head-injury protocols and will be required to pass a head test before he can play again.
Widnes, only two places higher than second-bottom Oldham, have also had a season of under-achievement and it came to a head last week when they went to Whitehaven with only 16 players and got battered 64-6.
The Vikings have since issued a statement in which they apologised to fans, admitted that 2021 recruitment had not paid off, strongly denied rumours of a financial problem and promised that things would be different in 2022.