JOHN Kear expects Featherstone to be a major force in the Championship again this season.

But the Bulls coach also believes his side are capable of upsetting them at Dewsbury tomorrow.

Kear’s men return to action after last week’s weather-enforced lay-off when Storm Ciara put paid to their planned trip to York.

The early fixture list, though, does not get any easier with last year’s beaten play-off finalists Fev arriving at what is shaping up to be a near-capacity Tetley’s Stadium.

Having run London within four points in a thrilling curtain-raiser, the Bulls face another opponent tipped to be one of the competition’s front-runners again.

Kear is among those who fancies James Webster’s side to potentially go one better than their previous near-miss. And he is relishing the Bulls having a crack at them.

“You’d probably say Featherstone are either favourites or second favourites,” he said.

“So we’ll have played two of the top three teams already.

“They are a very good team but if we can pick something out of it, that will be like a bonus for everyone. We’re really looking forward to it.

“I expect Featherstone to carry on from where they left off because of the quality of players that they’ve got. It lends itself to thinking that way.

“They’ve got some good quality Leeds players as well that they are using. You just think they’ve got a real good chance of being a force to be reckoned with throughout the season.

“But I’m confident we can play very well indeed and if we can do that, we’ll have a half-decent chance.”

The teams met three times last season with the Bulls coming out one-point winners on the first two occasions.

Having beaten Fev 17-16 on opening day, they pulled off an incredible fightback from an 18-point deficit to edge a golden point thriller 27-26 in the Challenge Cup.

But Rovers, inspired by Dane Chisholm, had their revenge at Post Office Road at the end of May when the Bulls were trounced 42-4 – their heaviest loss of the year.

George Flanagan is still missing as he sits out the final game of his lengthy suspension from last year.

But Kear is happy to name the same again after the way his side kicked off the campaign against the Broncos. That means resisting the temptation for now to take up any dual-reg players on offer from Hull FC.

A bumper crowd is anticipated at the Bulls’ temporary home as Kear hopes that the unpredictably wild weather will not play too big a part.

“I keep looking at the weather App and every 10 minutes it’s changing. It’s pretty difficult to forecast.

“Yes, the weather is an issue at the minute and conditions underfoot are a challenge as well. But it’s the same for both teams.

“It’s going to be a really vibrant atmosphere in a tidy little stadium.”