No return 'home' for Larder

PHIL Larder, Keighley’s new director of coaching, won’t be at the Oldham game on Sunday​ because he’s on a pre-booked holiday in Spain.

“I’ll be fully committed to Cougars when I get back,”

said the Oldham-born ex-centre who rose to become Great Britain coach in rugby league and defence coach for both England and the British and Irish Lions in rugby union.

The Oldham Past Players Association are doing some sponsorship on Sunday and their party usually contains Martin Murphy and Mike Elliott.

For several years in the 1970s Murphy, Elliott, Larder were the first three names on the Roughyeds’ team sheet, amassing a stunning 1,236 games and 316 tries between them.

A rare reunion on Sunday would have been something special but it won’t happen because of Larder’s holiday.

With Larder’s full backing and support Rhys Lovegrove, who was the sacked Craig Lingard’s No 2, has been promoted to head coach.

Larder said of the young Australian and former Hull KR player:

“He’s young, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I’ll be his adviser and mentor. I’ll be there to support him. I don’t want to tread on toes.

“When I saw the Oldham game (Oldham won 52-12) I sensed a lot of frustration, which was understandable given all that’s gone on at the club.

“We’ve got to start building for next year; bring some players in; have a good pre-season; get as fit as we can possibly be; and then we can go on and win it.”

Fans who go to the Oldham v Keighley game at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday (3pm kick) will be given a half-price voucher for the next home game against West Wales Raiders on Sunday, June 30.

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