Featherstone Rovers coach Daryl Powell will be looking to the experience of Gareth Raynor to help his team of part-timers follow up their surprise Challenge Cup win over Castleford with what would be an even bigger upset against holders Wigan Warriors (-38 Match Handicap). The 34-year-old Raynor is a straight replacement for Tangi Ropati, who suffered a badly-broken jaw in Rovers' 23-16 win over the Tigers.
Raynor, who was a cup winner with Hull in 2005, made a two-try debut for Featherstone (+38 Match Handicap) in their 26-24 Championship win at Swinton last Sunday and will make his home debut for them in the fifth-round tie against the Wigan Warriors. He is expected to go up against New Zealander Anthony Gelling, who is set to make only his third appearance for Wigan as a replacement for the injured 2010 Man of Steel Pat Richards.
The former Leeds coach said “Every bit of experience will help. Obviously Gareth has a fair bit of experience, probably more than anybody else in our team. He hadn't played for a while and he was quiet in the first half at Swinton but he was very good in the second half and his fitness levels are improving all the time."
He added "We've got some things in our favour - we're at home and the conditions won't suit Wigan (-16 Half Time Handicap)- but it's about taking it in steps, breaking down the game and coming up with a good first 15 minutes and building from there. We've got to be able to defend against Wigan. They are probably the most aggressive team in the league and we've got to be able to play a certain way against them."