JAMES Feather has admitted he's enjoying his rugby more than ever before and hailed the new era that is beginning at Keighley Cougars.

The 34-year-old veteran, affectionately known as 'Buster', recently signed a new deal to keep him at the club until the end of the next campaign.

That means Feather will enter his 18th season with the Cougars next year.

Buster has experienced it all and is pleased to put pen to paper and extend his story at the club.

He said: "I'm enjoying rugby more this year than I have for a long time.

"For me it feels like they've freshened it up.

"I've played with my best friends over the years and that's good, but it's changed.

"We've brought in all the new boys, and it makes it enjoyable."

Having retired in 2017, after 15 years at Cougars, it looked as if the book had been closed on Buster's career.

But, the veteran returned to the pitch this season - a whole 13 years after his senior debut.

Feather's latest rugby league chapter also coincided with a new era for Keighley, who suffered turmoil in the off-season which led to a 12-point deduction.

The hooker admits the positive work behind-the-scenes is another reason for his renewed love for his game.

Buster said the directors make a conscious effort to speak to the players after games and that if you play well you're always rewarded.

He added: "It's the first time that the club off the field is now in front of it on the field.

"We're moving towards being a Championship club, we're not quite there on the field.

"But to be part of that again next year, I'm absolutely buzzing."

On the pitch, Buster is experiencing somewhat of an Indian Summer, playing at a level that belies his years.

Next season may bring different challenges, but the veteran hopes to still offer something on the pitch.

Buster said: "I'll take each game at a time, because you could get injured and it could be your last, but it seems to be working for me.

"Hopefully, I'll help out with the lads around me."

As an older head in a youthful group, much of the responsibility has rested on Buster to help new head coach Rhys Lovegrove along.

The momentum may swing in favour of a bigger coaching role for Feather next season and he is excited to be under the tutelage of Lovegrove.

Buster said: "Rhys is a brilliant young coach, he's really experienced in the game.

"I'm looking forward to learning from him.

"Hopefully we can kick off on to the winning foot.

"I'll be part of the playing or coaching staff.

"This year I've been making the transition over.

"At the moment I'm playing well and enjoying it, but if it comes to it and my body gives up next year then I'll just be coaching."

Meanwhile, Keighley also sent out their condolences after the death of former player Jack Holmes.

The well-known forward played for the Cougars during the 1950s and 60s and was a Keighley native.

Holmes passed away last Wednesday and the club said they were saddened to hear of his death and that thoughts were with his family and friends at this difficult time.