Before moving to York City Knights for 2018, the Robins favourite will make one last appearance at Craven Park tonight as Tim Sheens’s side face Catalans Dragons in the Qualifiers.
Having already secured promotion with Saturday’s famous win over Widnes Vikings, the Australian coach can afford to ring the changes – and that means a recall for veteran full-back Cockayne.
The 34-year-old – who was in the Rovers side when they first earned elevation to Super League in 2006 – has not played since their loss at Halifax on the last day of the regular season in July.
Cockayne has been kept out of the side by the talent at Sheens’s disposal with Adam Quinlan at No 1 plus Justin Carney, Kieren Moss and Ryan Shaw on the wings. However, the player, who has made more than 200 KR appearances in two spells, will lead them out tonight.
Cockayne told The Yorkshire Post: “I’m going to be Captain Marvel. I’ll be doing everything – running, kicking and probably getting in the ref’s ear as much as I can while I get the chance!
“It is great that I get to do this; if we’d not got promotion wrapped up against Widnes I probably wouldn’t have played but it’s worked out brilliantly. I’m looking forward to my final game out there before I wrap things up.”
There may only be seven players who featured last weekend retained tonight against a Catalans side who urgently need points to secure their Super League safety.
But as well as the youngsters being given a chance, there is plenty of experience, too, with the likes of Graeme Horne and Liam Salter, plus recent signing Chris Atkin.
“We are missing a lot but some of the kids are looking to prove their worth and others want to earn new contracts,” said Cockayne, who will take up an off-field role with Rovers next term.
“There’s no reason why we can’t go out and have a real crack.
“We’re all wise enough to know how Catalans will come out; they’re always big and robust and they will be desperate to win their last two games.
“But there’s no pressure on us; we can relax knowing we can go play our own game.”