Sandercock looking forward to first hit out
The build-up to the 2012 campaign begins in earnest on Sunday when the Robins travel to take on Featherstone Rovers (KO 3pm) in their opening pre-season friendly.
Having endured a tough couple of months of training, the game will give Head Coach, Craig Sandercock, and his squad an opportunity to put plenty of that hard work into practice.
“I'm looking forward to it,” Sandercock said. “Obviously it's not the first round of the Super League but I always look forward to any game of footy that I'm coaching in.
“We have some new systems and structures in place and it's a good chance for the boys who are playing to have the first crack at it. The squad that we take to Featherstone will be a mixture of the younger boys and some of the senior guys.
“Joel Clinton will play and he'll captain the side, and I'm excited about seeing how the younger blokes go. They do have potential, and it's upto them to try and live up to that potential and force their way into the first team.”
The Robins have a predominantly healthy squad as things stand with only a couple of players unavailable for selection this weekend.
“Louis Sheriff is unavailable as he's still recovering from the ACL injury he picked up last season,” Sandercock added. “Unfortunately, Ryan O'Hara is also unavailable as he injured his shoulder during training in Tenerife – he's booked in for surgery today (Friday).
“We could have possibly managed Ryan through the season but we decided to get the surgery done so that he'll be 100 per cent fit when he does come back.
“Hopefully, he'll be available again for round four of the competition. Obviously it's very unfortunate for Ryan but it will give somebody else a chance to put their hand up and we're pretty lucky in that we have quite a bit of depth in the front row. The competition for places will be intense and that'll all start this Sunday.”
Having been crowned as Co-Operative Champions last season, Featherstone will provide the Robins with a tough test and Sandercock is keen to see how his younger players in particular handle the game.
“Everyone wants to win, although it's a friendly game so the result doesn't concern me too much,” he continued. “What does concern me is the effort and quality of execution that our boys play with. I've heard some really good things about Featherstone and I know that they had a good win last weekend so they've already had a hit out.
“I'm really looking forward to seeing how our younger guys cope in a competitive environment against a good side.”
Admission prices for the game on Sunday are £10 adults, £5 concessions and £3 for U16s. There's also a special hospitality package available and you can find out all the information by clicking here.
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