OLDHAM will again be without the services of on-loan centre Kieran Gill in Saturday’s televised Summer Bash derby clash with Rochdale Hornets at Blackpool.
The 21-year-old Castleford Tigers player is here on long-term loan, but on an agreement that includes a call-back clause when the Betfred Super League leaders need him.
He was in their 19-man squad for the Magic Weekend win against Leeds Rhinos, so he couldn’t play for Oldham against Batley Bulldogs.
And as the Tigers have two games over the Bank Holiday weekend — at home to Widnes Vikings tomorrow (Fri) and away to Leigh Centurions on Monday —- he won’t be available to travel to Blackpool with Roughyeds on Saturday.
By way of compensation, Scott Naylor hopes to have a dual-reg facility with Huddersfield Giants as an option, but that isn’t confirmed as yet.
The Rugby Football League, meanwhile, is keen to re-assure fans attending the Summer Bash two-day event in Blackpool that police are constantly monitoring security at Bloomfield Road and in and around the Fylde generally and are regularly updating the sport’s governing body.
Fans are advised to arrive soon because there will be thorough baggage searches and security checks at the turnstiles following Monday night’s terrorist attack in Manchester.
A minute’s silence to remember victims of the Manchester Arena bomb, two of whom were from Royton, will be held three times over the two days, one of them before Oldham’s clash with Rochdale Hornets on Saturday, kick-off 2.30pm.
Hundreds of Roughyeds fans will be in the ground, latest figures from the RFL showing that the club has sold three times more tickets than their derby rivals from across the M62.
The game will be televised live on Sky Sports 3, presented by Brian Carney and Phil Clarke, with commentary by Ben Proe, Jon Wells and former Oldham, Wigan, Leeds and Great Britain prop Barrie McDermott.
Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton will be a studio guest of BBC Radio Manchester tonight in a Summer Bash rugby league special, starting at 6pm.
Among fans cheering for Oldham on Saturday will be converts-for-the-day Sebastien Greninger and his eight-year-old son from Toulouse in the south of France.
Fans of Toulouse Olympique, they will be here to watch all six KP Championship games over the two days.
They are staying in Worsley and as they got on well with Roughyeds fans when Scott Naylor’s men played at Toulouse in April, they contacted the club and asked if anyone would be prepared to pick them up in Worsley and take them to Blackpool.
Said Sebastien: “If anyone can oblige we’ll share the cost and become Oldham supporters for the day, cheering them on to beat Rochdale.”
Toulouse don’t play until Sunday, against Halifax.
Sebastien’s plea was picked up by Oldham mascot Roary and his father David Murgatroyd, the club’s official photographer.
Said David: “Roary and I have arranged to stop off in Worsley to pick up Sebastien and his boy. We won’t charge him either . . . so long as he keeps his promise to give our lads a shout.”