SCOTT Naylor has confirmed that prop Ben Davies will be available for selection in the Oldham squad to play Coventry Bears at The Butts Park Arena on Sunday (3pm kick-off).
If picked to play, it will be Davies’s first game of the season.
He damaged his back in pre-season and he has been laid off ever since, but heavily involved in treatment, rehab and the like.
For some time he was restricted to limited training, but he is now ready to go and he will be in the selection mix.
Dave Eccleston (knee) and Jack Spencer (back) will join long-term injury victim Adam Neal (concussion) on the sidelines.
It will be the Roughyeds’ first visit to the Butts Park Arena, home of Coventry RU Club.
The Bears are third bottom in Betfred League 1, having won only one and lost nine of their league games.
Only Hemel Stags and West Wales Raiders have scored fewer points than the Bears, who go up against an Oldham side that boasts the second best defensive record in the division.
Leaders Bradford Bulls have conceded 111 points in 11 games, then come Oldham on 138, York City Knights on 160 and Doncaster on 207.
“The three-hour coach journey to Coventry is a factor, but from our perspective it’s all about doing a professional job.
“We have to make sure we maintain our standards, give Coventry the respect they deserve and play with the same intensity which served us well against Doncaster.
“I’m sure we’ll turn up on the day (to use modern phraseology) and play well.”
Bears, who have lost their last nine games, haven’t won since they beat Pilkington Recs 31-20 in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup in March.
James Geurtjens has an opportunity to become the Bears’ leader for most games played for the club. He is currently tied on 71 with Chris Barratt.
Both made their debuts in the club’s first-ever game, which was a 42-6 iPro Sport Cup defeat by Oldham at Whitebank, as it was then called, on March 1, 2015.
One Oldham player who won’t be on new ground at the Butts Park Arena will be centre Matt Reid, who captained Bears last season and in total scored 16 tries in 46 appearances for them between 2015 and 2017.
Stand-off Paul Crook needs eight points to reach his 100 for the season in league competition.