Four changes in 19-man squad

SCOTT Naylor has made four changes in his 19-man squad for tomorrow’s Betfred League 1 clash with London Skolars at the Vestacare Stadium (3pm kick-off).

Compared with the 19 named for last week’s 60-0 win at Coventry, Steven Nield, Danny Rasool, Matt Reid and Ben West stand down, replaced by Luke Hooley, Dave Eccleston, Jack Spencer and Danny Bridge.

Second-row man Bridge was given a rest last week and missed his first game of the season.

Prop Spencer (back) and winger Eccleston (knee) were carrying injuries but are now fully fit.

Squad: Bent, Bridge, Briscoe, Crook, Davies, Eccleston, Hewitt, Holmes, Hooley, Johnson, Jones, Joy, Kershaw, Langtree, McComb, Nelmes, Owen, Spencer, Wilkinson.

Oldham will be going for their eighth league win in a row, having beaten Keighley Cougars, Newcastle Thunder, Hemel Stags and Doncaster at home and Workington Town, West Wales Raiders and Coventry Bears away.

They still have a long way to go to match their record of consecutive wins the last time they were in League 1.

That was in the promotion season of 2015 when they won their last FOURTEEN games of the season, starting with a 64-0 home romp against Oxford on
June 14 and ending with the 31-20 defeat of Keighley Cougars in the Promotion Final on September 20.

Of the players currently at the club Phil Joy made 27 appearances that season alongside Kenny Hughes (24), Danny Langtree (24), Adam Neal (24), Jack Holmes (22), Steven Nield (8) and Dave Hewitt (6).

Skolars are averaging 25 points a game although they’ve won only three and drawn one of their 12 league outings and have lost their last five.

Last week they led Hunslet 18-0 before the Yorkshiremen hit back to win 37-30, a late drop goal by Cain Southernwood easing Hunslet’s concerns.

Skolars conceded 36 unanswered points to trail 18-36, but then showed their fighting spirit by pulling back to 30-36 before the one-pointer finally finished them off.

New signing Iliess Macani, brought in on loan from Sheffield, played on the right wing and is expected to be there again tomorrow.

The 24-year-old Tottenham-born winger played initially in the Skolars junior ranks before moving on to London Broncos.

He then had a stay at Bradford Bulls before moving to Sheffield at the start of this season.

Skolars coach Jermaine Coleman told League Express: “He’ll add experience and a threat on the edges and he’ll create something out of nothing, which is what we’ve been lacking.”

Others to watch out for are Ryan Burroughs, last week named Skolars’ top man by League Express and a fullback who has scored a try in each of his side’s last four games ; goalkicking half-back Neil Thorman, next one down behind Paul Crook in the list of third-tier points scorers; and second-row Lamont Bryan.

Having been watched by fewer than 500 fans in their last three home games against Newcastle, Hemel and Doncaster (despite playing good, winning rugby), Roughyeds are hoping fans will turn up in numbers tomorrow; spread the gospel; and encourage friends, relatives and workmates to “give it a try”.



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