Davies return on hold

OLDHAM will be taking no chances on the fitness of prop Ben Davies when they faced Swinton Lions at Bower Fold today in the first of their two Easter games.

A calf strain picked up in the 26-22 win against Bradford Bulls in the last home game cost the front-row forward a place in the 19 who were taken to France for the tough test at Toulouse Olympique.

It was thought the former Whitehaven prop might be ready in time to face the Lions, but after another assessment of his injury at training last night it was decided to put his comeback on hold.

“Another three days could make all the difference so, hopefully, Ben will see action again at Halifax on Monday,” said head coach Scott Naylor.

“I’ll be using every available player in the squad over the two games.”

Naylor confirmed there would be changes today from the 17 who played in France, but he won’t reveal his hand until an hour before the 3pm kick-off.

Today’s derby is Oldham’s last game at Bower Fold for several weeks unless they win at Featherstone in the fifth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup on Sunday, April 23 and then get a home draw in the sixth round on May 14.

If not, they don’t play at Bower Fold again until Sunday, May 21 when Batley Bulldogs are here.

Halifax on Monday, at The Shay (7.30) is the first of three Championship away days on the spin, wrapped around the cup-tie at The Big Fellas Stadium on Sunday week.

Discounted cup-tie tickets, offering savings of £6 adults and £4 concessions, will be available (cash only) until Wednesday from Oldham Athletic’s ticket office at SportsDirect.com Park, 9am to 5pm, but closed Easter Monday.

Next up for Roughyeds after the cup-tie is away to Dewsbury Rams (April 30), who have appointed their former boss Neil Kelly (54) as head coach, 16 years after he left to pursue his career with Widnes and Leigh.

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