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Kenny Hughes faces injury lay-off

OLDHAM hooker Kenny Hughes goes into hospital on Monday for surgery on a finger injury that troubled him for much of last season.

He will be available for Sunday’s second pre-season friendly at Barrow (2pm kick-off), but he is then expected to be sidelined for two to three weeks, which means he will miss the third and final warm-up match against Keighley Cougars at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday, January 28 (3pm kick-off).

Roughyeds hope Hughes will be ready for the start of the Betfred League 1 campaign at Whitehaven on Sunday, February 18 (3pm), but that won’t be known until nearer the time.

Club captain Gareth Owen (foot) and young back-rower Liam Bent (dislocated elbow) will miss the Barrow and Keighley friendlies, but Phil Joy is likely to play at Barrow for the first time since he suffered a second dislocation of the shoulder against Batley Bulldogs last summer.

Coach Scott Naylor hasn’t yet confirmed his squad to travel to Barrow. At his disposal will be 19 contracted players plus five trialists who have been training with the squad throughout pre-season, including winger Chris Barlow, who made a try-scoring debut in the impressive 28-24 Law Cup win at Rochdale.

Naylor’s preference in this type of pre-season hit-out is for a squad of no more than 20 or 21, but the final number to travel might be influenced by what Barrow intend to do.

Said the Roughyeds boss: “A squad of more than 20 or 21 can get a bit out of hand, but the five amateurs have been with us since last November and they deserve a run-out.”

Looking ahead to the game, he added: “I think we can expect the toughest challenge we’ve ever had up there, and that suits me just fine. The reason I like a warm-up game at Barrow is that it’s always a place that challenges visiting players.

“We’ve got the longish journey to Cumbria and then the prospects of playing in bad weather, all of which will test our lads. That’s what I want. I want them to be tested so I can see what the lads have underneath the jersey. That’s what these games are for.”

Barrow, preparing for life in the Betfred Championship, beat Keighey Cougars 46-20 in their first run-out and will be determined to build on that with the Championship season due to kick-off in a fortnight.

Added Naylor: “On our last two trips to Barrow we’ve been the Championship side and they’ve been in League 1, but we’ve swopped positions in the structure and they’ll want to make that count, especially as they’re only two weeks away from the start of their league programme.”

The Raiders left out new skipper Martin Aspinwall, Shane Toal, Ryan Fieldhouse, Lewis Charnock and Karl Ashall against the Cougars, but they’re expected to figure on Sunday along with new Aussie signings Alex Susino and Dean Parata.

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Club Cash

SINCE Covid-19 caused us to temporarily abandon door-to-door CLUB CASH lottery collections last Spring there’s never been a better time to come on board and help Roughyeds to get through these hugely challenging times.

Why? The £500-a-week rollover jackpot is back — not only that there are now TWO £50 prizes and TWO £25 prizes in addition to the first prize of £1,000, a second prize of £100 and ten consolation prizes of £10.

But the return of the jackpot is the big lottery news. It’s back this week and it’s been won first time out, so next week’s jackpot is again £500 but if nobody touches lucky it will go up to £1,000 the following week and increase by £500 a week, if not won, to a maximum of £10,000.

We have seriously missed the regular income from collections on the doorstep, but we cannot thank too much those supporters who have got behind the club in these unprecedented times of hardship by keeping their Club Cash memberships going or, indeed, by joining for the first time, knowing that for £1 a week they can help the club to combat Covid and prepare with confidence for the challenges of Betfred Championship rugby in 2021.

You can send a cheque to cover a set number of weeks; take out a bank standing order — our preferred option; complete a bank transfer; or pay for several weeks up front by credit or debit card.

You can download a standing order form by clicking on the link at the end of this news release and following the instructions or you can contact our Club Cash administrator John McAndrew (tel: 07980 129541; email: mcandrewj@aol.com) or speak to the club direct on 07904 898177 or email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The easiest way, though, is to download a standing order form below. The latest prize updates are shown on the form as follows (all for £1): £1,000, £100, £50 (2), £25 (2), a number of £10 consolation prizes and the £500-a-week rollover jackpot.

Best of luck!

Download Application Form

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