The long and rich history of Featherstone Rovers Rugby League Football Club

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Andy Kain

       After losing promising local star Richard Whiting to Hull after only a handful of first team games, Rovers used youngster John Presley at stand-off for the 2004 campaign. He was more of a scrum-half but played at six quite capably before he moved onto a long and successful career at Sheffield, Keighley and then York. We also used Richard Blakeway, essentially a loose forward but with the distribution and kicking skills to do a good job for us in the halves. Australian import Josh Weedon arrived from Queanbeyan, staying with us for two seasons, and the much travelled Dom Brambani also played briefly at Rovers between spells for Dewsbury and Sheffield.

Andy Kain
      After our relegation into the third tier of rugby league for the first time ever in 2005, Rovers had Paul Handforth at scrum half organising and kicking, and needed a pacy livewire sort of player to complement him at stand-off. Castleford-born Andy Kain was playing for Widnes and he fit the bill perfectly. He slotted straight into Rovers team in June 2007 and scored some vital tries in our promotion push. With two tries on his debut in a defeat at Celtic Crusaders, Kain played all sixteen remaining games including the playoff final victory against Oldham at Headingley. Back in the Championship he was first choice stand-off throughout 2008, his pace and willingness to back up making him a regular scorer. For 2009 new coach Daryl Powell brought in both Kyle Briggs and Iestyn Harris as pivots, so Kain moved equally successfully to scrum-half, and notched a more than respectable seventeen tries that year playing essentially the same role he had in the number six shirt.

      When Rovers signed Liam Finn to partner Briggs for the 2010 season, Kain started most of that year on the bench, being used as interchange hooker where he adapted to the increased defensive duties of tackling in the middle of the park very well, whilst continuing his eye for the try-line. That year brought him twelve tries. When Briggs left for Bradford, Kain & Finn became a half-back fixture at Rovers throughout three very successful seasons, and Andy continued to rack up the tries at a phenomenal rate. His record of 30 tries in the 2012 season was in fact the fourth highest ever for Rovers by any player in a season, behind only Newlove (48) Simpson (34) and Woolford (31). After the departure of Liam Finn, Andy continued for one more year at Rovers partnering Gareth Moore at half-back throughout 2014. He reached his fourth Championship Grand final in five seasons, a record matched by only Ian Hardman and Tim Spears.

     At the end of the 2014 season after 210 first team matches and 128 career tries over eight seasons, Andy Kain moved first to Hunslet, then to Dewsbury. His try tally leaves him fourth on the all-time list behind Don Fox (162) John Newlove (147) and Jim Denton (129).