OLDHAM have followed up the signing of experienced forward Ed Smith by the capture of young prop Jimmy Beckett on loan from Featherstone Rovers to the end of the season.
The 19-year-old is in the first year of a two-year agreement with Rovers, who signed him from Castleford Tigers Academy and immediately included him in their first-team squad.
Said Roughyeds boss Scott Naylor:
“Understandably, at his age and with the sort of experienced pack they’ve got at Rovers, he isn’t getting a lot of game time.
“We can give him that game time because in our squad another ‘middle’ will come in very handy.
“Some of our lads in that department have been playing long minutes in every game, but with five key games to play and then, in all probability, more games in the play-offs we will have more forward options with Ed Smith and Jimmy on board.
“In Jimmy’s case he has a point to prove to Featherstone and his move to us on loan will help us; help him; and provide him with the experience that Rovers want him to get.
“We’ve a lot of very important matches coming up and we need as much strength and as many bodies as we can get.”
The Rovers website says of Jimmy:
“He came through the Castleford Tigers Academy, having previously featured for England Lions at junior level and local amateur side Featherstone Lions.
“Joining Rovers was a dream move for Beckett, who was a ball boy during Rovers’ 23-16 Challenge Cup win over Castleford Tigers in 2012.”
Beckett, then aged 17, played for Featherstone Lions against Oldham in a Challenge Cup tie and later represented England Community Lions against Wales and Scotland.
He joined Castleford Academy aged 18 and, at the end of last season, signed a two-year deal with Rovers, his home-town club.
Standing six ft three and weighing in at 103 kilos he’s a big lad, who has had a loan spell at Keighley Cougars.
His two senior appearances for Rovers were in the Challenge Cup against Swinton Lions and Bradford Bulls.
He told the Roughyeds website:
“I need game time against experienced players and that’s what I’ll get at Oldham. There’s nothing to compare with first-team football.
“I’ll be training at Oldham tonight and I’m really looking forward to the move.”