OLDHAM Rugby League Club are pleased to announce the loan signings of Leigh Centurions pair, Jonny Pownall and Lewis Foster, with immediate effect. Both players will be with the Roughyeds for the next month.
Pownall, 24, who can play wing, full-back or centre, has scored 60 tries in 92 appearances since his Leigh Centurions debut in 2011 while Foster, 22, a hooker, has played nine first team games since making his debut in 2014.
Both players will train with Scott Naylor’s squad for the first time tonight and will be in contention for the side to play Dewsbury Rams away on Sunday.
Said head coach Scott: “Jonny (Pownall) has played for Leigh at Championship level for the past few years and he will offer a lot to the backs.
“We seem to have more injuries in that area of the team than in the forwards and Jonny’s experience and versatility will serve us well. I am looking forward to having both him and Lewis (Foster) on board.
“Lewis is a young hooker, who has a lot of big shoes ahead of him at Leigh. It will be nice to give him some game time and it will enable us to freshen up our middle unit.
“We are currently playing Gareth Owen in the half-backs so that leaves us with only two hookers. We have a lot of big games coming up and the acquisition of Jonny and Lewis will allow us to do some rotation.”
Chairman Chris Hamilton added: “We have been down on numbers recently and we have been trying to do something about it for a while without success.
“We have a good relationship with Leigh and we are delighted to have brought in these two players on a month’s loan. Thanks to all concerned at Leigh.
“Not only are they quality players, they are full-time quality players and that’s a statement of our desire to do our utmost to stay in the Championship.
“They will add competition for places and we are delighted to welcome them to our club.”
Leigh Centurions Head Coach Neil Jukes said: ” At this important stage of the season it is imperative that all our squad members are getting regular and competitive first team games wherever possible.
“Jonny has been a great servant to this Club and in my time as assistant coach and head coach I have not a bad word to say about him. Unfortunately he was troubled by injuries early season and with the form of our two current wingers it has been very difficult to give him the game time he needs to get battle hardened ahead of the Middle Eights.
“Lewis is a great prospect and it is difficult for him this season with us having no reserve grade. At present he is our third choice nine and this loan shows we are doing right by the player even though as a club it may leave us a bit vulnerable. It is important for Lewis to get his match fitness and sharpness by playing at Championship level and this loan will be an important part of his development and will also benefit all parties.”