SCOTT Naylor and his coaching team are coming to terms with the shock news that injured winger Aaron Jones-Bishop won’t play again this season.
The Jamaican international, who has helped his country to qualify for the 2021 World Cup, needs an operation to repair a damaged knee.
“It’s bad news for the squad and the club, but our thoughts are with Aaron, who faces a long lay-off and then a lot of rehab in order to regain full fitness.
“We need to get on with it now so that he can start his rehab as quickly as possible.
“In a contact sport you get injuries like this if you’re unlucky. It’s just one of those things — something we have to deal with.”
It leaves the Roughyeds boss with a squad of 22; 13 forwards, eight backs plus Anthony Bowman, who feels equally comfortable at half-back or in the back-row of the pack.
Backs: Brook, Crook, Hawkyard, Hewitt, Holmes, Johnson, Maders, McComb.
Forwards: Bent, Bridge, Calland, Davies, Greenwood, Gwaze, Joy, Langtree, Law, Owen, Spencer, Whittel, Wilkinson.
The loss of Jones-Bishop means Roughyeds have lost two quality wingers within a few weeks, following Wakefield Trinity’s recall of on-loan Lee Kershaw.
Currently occupying the wing spots are Kyran Johnson and local lad Harry Maders with Zack McComb and Jack Holmes in the centre positions.
Roughyeds have scored a total of 22 tries in their last two outings — 14 of them by the backs.
Next up is Coventry Bears at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday (3pm). They come in grizzly mood after accounting for two teams, Newcastle Thunder and Workington Town from what is commonly known among the non-heartland clubs as the ‘northern powerhouse’.
“They’ve beaten two teams who beat us earlier this season so that shows what they’re capable of,” said Naylor.
“In some ways they’re a mirror image of London Skolars; much improved; not the team many people might expect them to be; well coached; young, big, strong and fast.
“League 1 is very unpredictable this year and teams like Skolars and Coventry are very much a part of that.
“The team that’s the most consistent will finish top and go up automatically, so we know what needs to be done.”
After three blank weekends between the start of the season in mid-February and the second week in May, Roughyeds now have a run of nine successive weeks of pressure rugby without a break.
Naylor won’t announce his 19-man squad for the Coventry game until later, but he has said that with nine games in nine weeks he will utilise his full 22-man squad during that period.
Four players from the 22 haven’t figured in the last two games — Ben Calland, Ben Davies, Adam Brook and Anthony Bowman, the last two now fit again after injury.
The Rainbows, Brownies and Guides from the 26th Oldham unit, based in Chadderton, will be our flag bearers for this game , while Oldham Foodbank will be inside the ground to receive your donations of tinned food etc for those in need.