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Watson and Ward appointed to Great Britain coaching staff

Ian Watson and Danny Ward, two of the brightest British coaches in the Betfred Super League, have been appointed assistant coaches to Wayne Bennett for the return of the Great Britain Rugby League Lions this autumn.

Watson earned a record 30 caps for Wales before moving into coaching, initially with Swinton before making the short move to Salford in 2015. He took over as head coach on a permanent basis in 2016, and has the Red Devils flying high in fifth in the table.

Ward won a single Great Britain cap against New Zealand in 2004, and moved into coaching with the London Broncos in 2014, initially on the support staff. Since taking over as head coach in 2018, the Broncos have defied expectations, first by earning promotion to the Super League for the first time since 2014, and this season by winning seven of their first 19 fixtures.

Both were interviewed by Bennett last week during the Great Britain Head Coach’s mid-season visit, and will now be involved in the player assessment and selection process throughout the summer before a Great Britain Performance Squad is announced in September.

“I was honoured to play so many times for Wales, and I’m delighted that the Great Britain team has been reformed, so it’s a privilege to have this chance to be involved on the tour,”

said Watson.

“There is a great history of Wales players and coaches being involved with the Rugby League Lions, and I’ll also be representing Salford who have given me such a great opportunity in coaching.”

“It was an incredible honour to represent Great Britain as a player, and I’m absolutely buzzing to be a part of the plans for this year,”

added Ward – whose father David won 12 GB caps from 1977-82.

“I’m really grateful to David Hughes at London Broncos for giving me the opportunity, and to everyone at the club, especially the players. I think it’s great for Rugby League in London that we’ve got this recognition with an involvement in the GB tour.”

Kevin Sinfield, the Rugby Football League’s Rugby Director, said:

“We are delighted to have Ian and Danny on board for the Great Britain tour. They both struck up an immediate rapport with Wayne Bennett at interviews last week – as well as having proved themselves excellent coaches in their work with Salford and London over the last couple of years, they are also great personalities to add to the tour, both with first-hand knowledge of the special challenges and opportunities of international Rugby League.”

Great Britain will play four Tests on consecutive weekends from October 26 to November 16 on their first southern hemisphere tour since the 2006 Tri-Nations series – one against Tonga, two against New Zealand, and finally in Papua New Guinea. Great Britain Rugby League Lions tour, 2019: Saturday October 26 – v Tonga (Hamilton); Saturday November 2 – v New Zealand (Eden Park, Auckland) Saturday November 9 – v New Zealand (Christchurch) Saturday November 16 – v Papua New Guinea (Port Moresby)

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Club Cash

AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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