Briscoe and Ellis in line for Rovers bow

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championship: Jack Briscoe and Andy Ellis could make their Featherstone Rovers debuts when they host York City Knights this evening.

Briscoe, a dual-registration signing from Hull FC, and Ellis, a loan capture from Wakefield Trinity, both missed last week’s 31-24 win at Batley Bulldogs.

But the pair could get their chance against struggling York, who remain without a league win in 2012.

Rovers are only three points behind leaders Halifax but coach Daryl Powell – who saw top-class winger Tom Saxton sign a new two-year deal this week – is demanding improved performances from his squad.

He said: “We haven’t been at our best all year. We’ve got to find a way to be at our best but we showed signs of getting there with the ball against Batley.

“It’s important we start to hit our straps as a team. We conceded a few too many points against Batley and we need to nip down on that.”

Nathan Freer could come into contention for York but coach Chris Thorman is also considering naming an unchanged side from last week’s 25-18 defeat against Sheffield Eagles.

Thorman said: “Featherstone’s league form has probably been due to the Challenge Cup (run) which takes its toll physically and mentally. Now that’s out of their system, we expect a fully juiced-up Featherstone team to come out firing, and that’s what we’re preparing for.”