OLDHAM RL have signed a fourth new boy in Sheffield Eagles and former Featherstone Rovers centre or second-row forward Nathan Chappell.
He scored two tries from the left-centre berth in Sheffield’s 54-24 win at Bower Fold five weeks ago.
“He can play equally well in the backs and forwards and that’s important to us,” said Roughyeds boss Scott Naylor.
“We’ve been looking at him for a while. I like his speed, his quality and his try-scoring stats.
“Whether he’s playing in the backs or forwards he will be a very good addition to the sort of squad we are putting together for our second season in the Championship.”
Chappell (26), who lives in Huddersfield, has penned a two-year deal and joins fellow new boys Ben Davies (a prop from Whitehaven), Scott Leatherbarrow (a half-back from London Broncos) and David Hewitt (another half-back from Sheffield) in a squad that is looking increasingly tasty.
Hewitt, who has previously had two loan spells at Oldham, assured his Eagles team mate that in linking up with Naylor’s men he was making the right move.
Said Chappell: “Jack Blagbrough also said he liked his loan spell at Oldham so I met up with Chris Hamilton (club chairman) who was very positive about the club and where it was going.
“The club is setting realistic, achievable targets and I like to think I could make a bit of an impact over there and help it to move up the ladder.
“I’ve been playing mainly centre in recent times, but I like second-row as well and I would have no trouble in adjusting if I was required to switch to the forwards.”
Huddersfield born Chappell played for Newsome Panthers as a boy, signing for Huddersfield Giants when he was 17.
He had three years in the Giants’ academy set-up, then a short stay with Castleford Tigers before spending two seasons with Featherstone.
Moving to Australia, he played for two years with Goulburn in the Canberra Cup competition before returning to Featherstone and then on to Sheffield.
“The standard of the Canberra Cup attracts ex-NRL players so it’s pretty high,” added Chappell. “I had two good years there and played a bit of rep rugby.
“I was offered trials with Canberra Raiders but that didn’t fit in with my plans so I turned it down.
“When I got to Sheffield it was the first time I had been full time since my Castleford days, but I managed to find myself a spot and I have to say I liked it there.
“Unfortunately, there was so much uncertainty about the club’s future that quite a few of us felt we had no option but to look at what else was available.”
Fans and players alike will recall the best moments of the 2016 season at tonight’s end-of-year awards celebration dinner at Whitebank.