SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT – Coral Challenge Cup round three

Newcastle Thunder have named their first 21-man squad of 2020 as the new rugby league season gets under way with the third round Coral Challenge Cup tie against Keighley Cougars at Cougar Park (KO 3pm)

A change to the operational procedures for this season, clubs now name an expanded squad ahead of matches with any additional players drafted in following the declarations now counting as one of the eight permitted interchanges.

There are potential competitive debuts for eight of the clubs 2020 signings as Thunder aim to book their place in the fourth round of rugby league’s oldest, knock-out competition against a new look Cougars.

Internationals Bob Beswick and Brenden Santi are amongst that number whilst there is another whilst academy products Jed Charlton, Alex Clegg, Alex Donaghy, Kieran Hudson and Sam Luckley are also in the roster.

Facing a side that is being touted as one of the teams to watch in Betfred League 1 this season, head coach Simon Finnigan is looking forward to a tie he says is the pick of the round.

“I’m happy with our draw. If I could pick a draw to get this would be up there because it’s a tough place to go and we will see how far we’ve come and if the pre-season has been valuable or not after this week.

“Keighley are going to be a different animal this year. They have been very good in pre-season; all the games I have seen they are playing a different style which is good to watch, and they are a good attacking team, so the coach has done a really good job with them.

“They will go in at their place and you could argue that they are favourites and rightly so, they have recruited really well, they are playing a different brand that is nice on the eye and they are going to be a good team this year.”


“We’ve only had a couple of pre-season games, we’ve had a couple of injuries and we’re not flowing but what I’ve seen of them, Keighley are really going well so it’s going to be a good day with the intensity jumping up and letting us see exactly where we are at.


“I think it is the standout tie of the third round and we’re going to have to play well if we are going to be within a shout to win the game.”

Newcastle Thunder

v Keighley Cougars – Sunday 8th February

FROM

Harry Aldous, Bob Beswick, Sam Blake, Joe Brown, Jed Charlton, Alex Clegg. Reece Dean, Alex Donaghy, Ashley Gibson, Kieran Gill, Kieran Hudson, Quentin Laulu Togaga’e, Adam Lawton, Jake Lightowler, Sam Luckley, Colton Roche, Brenden Santi, Evan Simons, Brad Walker, Mikey Wood, Lewis Young