OLDHAM RL have bolstered their injury-hit squad by signing two more young players, each with Super League backgrounds at Salford Red Devils.
Matty Wilkinson (21), a hooker, has penned a contract to November 30 after negotiating his release from Salford, where he had been since he was 17 and for the last two years as a full-time pro.
Connor Williams (18), a full-back or centre, comes from Salford on a one-month loan — another bright prospect who has been full-time with the Red Devils since he was 16.
“To bring in new blood at this stage of the season is important,” said head coach Scott Naylor.
The new boys arrive only days after Roughyeds clinched month-long loan agreements with London Broncos for two 20-year-olds in prop Sadiq Adebiyi and centre Kameron Pearce-Paul, who made their Oldham debuts at Bradford.
Wilkinson has been on dual-reg with Halifax this season and he played against the Roughyeds, as a substitute, when Fax won at Bower Fold a fortnight ago.
He got his release from the Red Devils to take up a full-time job outside rugby and Oldham then nipped in ahead of Halifax to nail his signing for the next five months.
Added Naylor: “We jumped at the chance to bring him in when the opportunity arose. He’s keen, fresh and of the right age.
“He’s a good, young hooker who’s been brought up in a Super League environment and he did well for Halifax on dual-reg.”
Of teenager Williams, he said: “He plays equally well at full-back or centre and there aren’t many centres about these days.
“We’ve had a few injury problems in those two positions, so it made commonsense to bring him in, give him some game time and have a look at him.”
A Wigan lad, he played for St Cuthbert’s and St Jude’s before getting scouted by Salford, for whom he made his Super League debut against Wigan when he was 17.
Leigh-born Wilkinson had a year with the Centurions before leaving to join Salford when he was 17. He’s also played rugby union with Sale.
“Halifax wanted to sign me, but it suited all parties for me to come to Oldham, and I’m delighted to be here,” said Wilkinson.
“I know George Tyson and Ben Davies pretty well and I can’t wait to get involved with the big challenges that lie ahead,”