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Calland jnr. in Thunder’s 19-man squad

THE younger brother of well-known local rugby league ace Matt Calland is included in Newcastle Thunder’s 19-man squad for Sunday’s intriguing-looking Betfred League 1 clash with Oldham RLFC at the Vestacare Stadium (3pm kick-off).

Ben Calland, reared with Wigan under-19s and Salford under-19s, signed for Thunder pre-season after two years in Australia with Corrimal Cougars, a Country team in the Illawarra region of New South Wales.

He’s a centre who can also play second-row but, like big brother Matt, who played for Bradford, Featherstone, Rochdale Hornets, England and Oldham St Anne’s, his favourite spot is centre.

Now retired as a player, Matt Calland has been a main man at Rochdale Mayfield ARLFC and Hopwood Hall college rugby league for many years.

Thunder coach Jason Payne said of Calland jnr: “He’s a big, powerful player with a real passion for the game. He defends hard and aggressively, which is what we were looking for, and he has developed a real name for himself with the way he plays.”

Calland was on the bench in last Sunday’s 28-10 home win against Hunslet which gave the Geordie lads four league wins from seven outings and followed earlier successes at London Skolars, Coventry Bears and North Wales Crusaders.

Another centre, Joe Brown, is expected to figure in his 200th game for the club after receiving a testimonial last year.

The 19-man squad comprises of the 17 against Hunslet plus Aaron Ollett and Dan Turland.

Thunder (from): Mo Agoro, Harry Aldous, Jack Aldous, Ali Blair, Sam Blake, Joe Brown, Ben Calland, Rhys Clarke, Tyler Craig, Conor Fitzsimmons, Sam Luckley, Liam McAvoy, Aaron Ollett, Vince Rennie, Tee Ritson, Tom Shaw, Evan Simons, Dan Turland, Lewis Young.

It will be Thunder’s last game before their Magic Night Out clash with Bradford Bulls at Kingston Park on Friday, May 18, the night before the start of Dacia Magic Weekend at nearby St James’ Park, and they want to go into that big game on the back of two wins in a row.

Oldham need no reminding that they can expect a tough encounter from opponents who are used to playing on an artificial pitch and have won each of their three games on the road so far.

With an extremely hot Bank Holiday weekend in prospect, fans can expect a fast, expansive game which has all the makings of being an absolute cracker.



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AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

Download Application Form

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