NEWCASTLE Thunder, who come to the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday week, August 11, in one of Betfred League 1’s biggest games of the season, have lost the services of their on-loan half-back starlet Mikey Lewis.
He was 17 when he made the first of his seven outings for Thunder, but he has now been recalled by his parent club Hull KR and is likely to make his Super League debut at the age of 18, having reached that birthday milestone less than a month ago.
He has partnered Nick Newman at half-back during Thunder’s surge up the table to second place.
He scored a try hat-trick against Workington and was named man of the match in Thunder’s last game against London Skolars.
Thunder hoped to keep the rising star for the rest of the year but his return to Craven Park will be regarded as a major loss.
Said coach Simon Finnigan:
“He’s been great for us and I’m sure he’ll make the step-up to Super League despite his youth.
“Hull KR have seen what he has done for us and you don’t have to be a rugby league expert to see that he is ready to do what Rovers expect of him.”
So it’s one out for Thunder . . . and maybe one in before the August 9 signing deadline.
They are thought to be chasing Halifax full-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae, who was a surprise omission from Fax’s Coral Challenge Cup semi-final squad.
With or without QLT, his nickname throughout the sport, Thunder will come to Oldham determined to consolidate their second-place status.
Roughyeds, on the other hand, will be equally determined to avenge their defeat at Kingston Park in April and keep their own promotion pot bubbling.
It will be a must-see game, but before then Oldham travel to London Skolars this weekend, while Thunder take on West Wales Raiders in Llanelli, both on Saturday.
Other games in League 1 (Sunday): Coventry Bears v Keighley Cougars; Hunslet v North Wales Crusaders; Whitehaven v Workington Town.