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Richard Owen signs as Keighley Cougars snap up duo for TV test
Paul March will hand debuts to Castleford star Richard Owen and Dewsbury’s Elliott Cosgrove in tonight’s televised trip to leaders Featherstone as the Cougars bid to end their losing run.
Player-coach March has secured the services of Owen as part of the dual-registration agreement that Cougars have struck with the Super League club.
The relationship sees March speak to Tigers coach Ian Millward on a regular basis and choose from the available players not in Castleford’s first-team squad.
Owen has fallen down the pecking order at Castleford following the close-season arrival of Jordan Tansey, and will line up at full back at the Big Fellas Stadium in the 7.30pm kick-off.
Cosgrove, a centre or second row who has represented the Ireland national side, has joined on a one-month loan deal from rivals Dewsbury and should also feature this evening.
March, whose men are second-bottom of The Kingstone Press Championship after five games, said: “We’ve got Richard Owen coming in from Castleford, and Johnny Walker from the Tigers will be with us again, having played against Leigh at the weekend.
“Richard Owen can play full back, wing or centre but will play full back for us.
“Elliot trained with us on Tuesday night and we’ve got him for four weeks on loan – he will also go straight into the team.
“It’s a big boost for us to have these two lads on board.”
In another major fillip, prop Brendon Rawlins is poised to make his first league appearance of the season after injury.
Cougars face a huge challenge to stop Featherstone on their own turf in tonight’s televised Premier Sports encounter but March has drawn encouragement from their display against Leigh on Sunday.
Cougars lost 46-16 but the head coach said: “The scoreline doesn’t reflect how much we were in that game.
“Certain things went against us but we got a bit of confidence back by scoring some good tries.
“Hopefully we can go to Featherstone and put in a good performance.
“We’ve got nothing to lose and obviously we’ll be underdogs, but we’ll come out fighting in front of the cameras for the first time this year.
“We need to be getting up for every game – not just the big ones.
“They’ve built a very good squad there and are pushing for a place in Super League.
“Obviously they’ve got a very intelligent coach in Daryl Powell and they are what everyone in the Championship strives to be.
“But it’s all about us tonight. Yes, they are the best team in the league but we need to be doing what we’re good at as we build up for these next seven games, which are quite easily winnable.”
Featherstone boast a number of former Super League players but half-back Liam Finn is their key protagonist.
March admitted: “We have to keep a close eye on him and he’s not been player of the year for two years running for no reason.
“He’s their main ball-player and he does a lot for them. We need to keep him quiet but, saying that, they’ve got quality all over the park.
“It’s how we deal with that and we need to get into that arm wrestle and battle with them.
“I think our forwards can match their forwards and then it’s up to our backs to make sure we keep hold of the ball and produce tries like we did last weekend.”