Championship Round Four: Squad news, TV coverage & predictions
Here is everything you need to know about Championship Round Four, including squad news, television coverage and our predictions.
Just two teams maintain a winning record heading into Round Four – Featherstone and Toulouse.
Featherstone sit at the top of the Championship table with a strong points difference, having scored 172 points, conceding just 26.
Cumbrian clubs Barrow and Whitehaven are the only teams not to have won a game yet.
Bradford Bulls v Toulouse Olympique (Saturday, 1pm)
Former Super League prop Josh Johnson is set to make his Bradford debut following his move from Widnes.
Captain Michael Lawrence is poised to return for the Bulls after missing last week’s Championship win over Widnes.
Leeds duo Liam Tindall and James McDonnell will feature for the Bulls on dual-registration.
Toulouse coach Sylvain Houles will be without prop Greg Richards due to concussion protocol. Scotland international Calum Gahan (ankle), Latrell Schaumkel (knee) and Benjamin Laguerre (shoulder) remain sidelined.
Bradford: Appo, Arundel, Baldwinson, Blackmore, Butler, England, Flanagan Sr, Foggin-Johnston, Foster, Gill, Holmes, Johnson, Lawford, Lawrence, Lilley, McDonnell, Patton, Roby, Rogers, Tindall, Wallace.
Toulouse: Ashall-Bott, Rennie, Jussaume, Marcon, Ralph, Shorrocks, Belmas, Hansen, Stefani, Peyroux, Marion, Pelissier, Akauola, Bretherton, Pezet, Armitage, Biscarro, Brochon, Guillon, Lima, Tropis.
Prediction: Toulouse are three from three so far this season, so I can’t see past them, but Bradford will make it tough.
Batley Bulldogs v Keighley Cougars (Sunday, 3pm)
Featherstone Rovers v Newcastle Thunder (Sunday, 3pm)
Featherstone boss Sean Long has made two changes to his side that thumped Whitehaven. James Lockwood and Brad Day replace Craig Hall and Gadwin Springer.
Newcastle coach Chris Thorman has made four changes to his side that lost at Keighley last Sunday. New signing Jack Miller is expected to make his debut following his move from Keighley earlier this week.
Hull duo Matty Laidlaw and Nick Staveley come in for Thunder on dual-registration from Hull.
Newcastle’s Brad Gallagher, Gideon Boafo, Nathan Clemmitt, Jake Lightowler and Daniel Okoro miss out through injury.
Featherstone: Briscoe, Gale, Ford, Dean, Kopczak, Jones, Lockwood, Day, Taylor, Bussey, Wildie, Davies, Hardcastle, Cooper, Leilua, Fleming, Aekins, Cozza, Lacans, Yei, Evans.
Newcastle: Johnson, Young, Walker, Clegg, Donaghy, Williams, J Chapelhow, Davies, Clark, Foster, Bailey, Balmforth, T Chapelhow, Clarke, Tuliatu, Lawther, Anderson, Moore, Miller, Staveley, Laidlaw.
Prediction: Featherstone have been red hot so far in 2023 and I can only see this going one way. Rovers by 24.
London Broncos v Sheffield Eagles (Sunday, 3pm)
London coach Mike Eccles has named an unchanged team to the one that lost narrowly at Halifax last week. There is a plethora of international talent amongst the Broncos squad, with seven of the 21-man squad having played on the international stage.
Sheffield boss Mark Aston has made four changes to his side. Josh Guzdek, Jason Bass, Connor Bower and Ryan Johnson come in for the Eagles.
Kris Welham, Aaron Murphy, Lewis Peachey and Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e won’t feature for Aston’s side this week.
London: Albert, Bassett, Bienek, Davis, Eckersley, Grant, Hill, Horsman, Hoyes, B Leyland, O Leyland, Lovell, Macani, Monk, Natoli, Parata, Silva, Stock, Ulberg, Walker, Williams.
Sheffield: Guzdek, Jones-Bishop, Oakes, Bass, Thackeray, Douglas, Halafihi, Dickinson, Bower, J Farrell, Hodgson, Gwaze, Wood, Broadbent, Hansen, Johnson, Liu, Sene-Lefao, Dawson-Jones, Aston.
Prediction: Both teams have had a good start to the season, but I’ve been really impressed with Sheffield so far. Eagles by 14.
Whitehaven v Swinton Lions (Sunday, 3pm)
York Knights v Barrow Raiders (Sunday, 3pm, Our League PPV)
York coach Andrew Henderson has made just one change to his side. Australian hooker Josh Daley replaces Irish international prop Ronan Michael.
York: Antrobus, Barnard, Brown, Clarkson, Daley, Dee, Edwards, Fitzsimmons, Glover, Harris, Harrison, Hingano, Jubb, Kirby, Kirmond, Price, Ta’ai, Teanby, Thompson, Towse, Ward.
Widnes Vikings v Halifax Panthers (Monday, 7:45pm, live on ViaPlay Sports 1)
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