Beckett staying put at Rovers
Date published: 20 March 2020
Rovers couldn't use their own loan or dual-registration players in the cup-tie so they got Beckett back and played him off the bench
Jimmy Beckett, the young prop whom Featherstone Rovers last week recalled from his loan spell at Oldham, will not be heading back to the Roughyeds in a hurry.
The up-and-coming 20-year-old originally joined Matt Diskin's men on a season-long loan but, after 28 days, Rovers always had the insurance of a call-back clause and they used it last week so he could play for his home-town club in the Coral Challenge Cup win against Hunslet.
Rovers couldn't use their own loan or dual-registration players in the cup-tie so they got Beckett back and played him off the bench.
Diskin, the Oldham coach, said the club would know more later about Rovers' immediate plans for Beckett beyond the Challenge Cup victory.
It may be of academic interest only, given that the RFL has now suspended all matches because of the virus crisis, but Rovers coach James Webster has since made it clear that Beckett will be staying where he is for the foreseeable future.
It's now looking likely that all games will continue to be suspended beyond the RFL's initial deadline of April 3, but notwithstanding that possibility, Webster is still adamant that Beckett will figure in his plans if matches resume by Easter.
He said: "We've got Easter coming up and then Toulouse away (always assuming matches are being played again by then) so we can't afford to have players out on loan.
"He'll be staying with us.
"He's done alright at Oldham and they were desperate to keep him.
"He's done good minutes there and he's enjoyed the experience , but we need him here now."
Oldham, meanwhile, were among Championship and League 1 clubs which met the RFL by conference call this week to consider the implications of the suspension of the 2020 season, enforced by the latest Government guidelines surrounding Covid-19, social distancing and mass gatherings.
Ralph Rimmer, the RFL chief executive, said: “Public health and concern for the most vulnerable is everyone’s priority.
"It was important that we exchanged information and allowed the clubs to discuss their position as soon as possible following the confirmation that the season will be suspended.
“This will have a significant impact on clubs at all levels, as on all businesses, in all sectors.
"It is important for us, as a governing body, to represent those clubs, given what a powerful force for good they are in their communities.
“It was a positive meeting at which all agreed on the importance of a collegiate approach, both for the Championship and League 1 clubs and the game as a whole, focusing on three key areas of player welfare, club sustainability, and the integrity of the competitions.
“We will maintain regular dialogue with the clubs, as well as with Government, broadcasters and sponsors, over the period of our initial suspension until the weekend of April 3, as we work together and look forward to the resumption of games.”
All activity in the Community Game is suspended – training, games, festivals, sessions, courses etc.
The RFL will also reschedule coach education courses over the coming weeks.
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