Chester draws blank as game’s injury crisis starts to bite

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HULL KR head coach Chris Chester admits he has been thwarted in attempts to bring in new players – as so many other clubs are suffering their own personnel issues.

He revealed prop Mitch Allgood broke his thumb against Warrington Wolves but, thankfully given Rovers are already shorn of so many, will still play this Sunday against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. However, any hope of recruiting fresh talent to bolster his depleted squad has fallen on deaf ears.

Chris Chester

Chris Chester

“There’s a lot of teams in the same position as us at this moment in time, with a lot of injuries,” said Chester, who is without six first-teamers including the suspended John Boudebza.

“There’s Leeds, Huddersfield and Warrington, for example, so we’re limited at the moment.

“But we’re just going to have to get on with it and not let it affect us.”

On Australian forward Allgood, he added: “He broke the top end of his thumb but he’s going to be fine to play with injections and getting it strapped in the right way.

“It’s one of those injuries that will need an operation at the end of the season. He wants to play. He’s had a tough 12 months with injuries but the operation was a definite no-go for him.

“I’m pleased he’s put off having surgery.

“He’s putting his hand up for the team when we are short of numbers.”

The former Parramatta Eels forward managed just eight Super League games last term, his first since moving from the NRL.

Back-row James Donaldson will have an operation on his dislocated wrist on Monday when surgeons will discover the full extent of his injury but James Greenwood and Liam Salter are fit again ahead of the Wildcats game.

Former Hull KR stand-off Travis Burns returns in St Helens’ 19-man squad for Friday’s World Club Series game against Sydney Rooster but, crucially, England hooker James Roby is not risked due to a rib problem.

Meanwhile, Castleford Tigers have started a dual-registration deal with League 1 club Oxford Blues.

Oxford coach Tim Rumford leads the Tigers Trust Community Foundation and has helped develop a number of players over the years through the West Yorkshire club’s youth and academy teams.

“We’ve initially set up a season-long agreement, which will help in the development of our young players and also help develop rugby league outside the ‘heartlands area’,” said Castleford chief executive Steve Gill.