DANNY Bridge and Oldham have received a boost in the build-up to Sunday’s big promotion decider against Newcastle Thunder at the Vestacare Stadium (3pm) with the inclusion of second-row forward Danny Bridge in an Ireland train-on squad.
Roughyeds captain Gareth Owen was quick to go public with his heartiest congratulations to his fellow Oldhamer, who is expected to show his class on the big stage in his home town this weekend.
“He has had a massive season for us and on behalf of the whole Oldham squad I offer him our congratulations and best wishes for his continued involvement in the Irish set-up moving forward,” said Owen.
Bridge (26) forms an Oldham second-row with Danny Langtree which Roughyeds believe is the best in Betfred League 1 and which will have a significant influence on Sunday’s promotion decider.
The younger brother of former Bradford and Warrington centre Chris Bridge, Danny will be keen to follow in the footsteps of his sibling who, with dual qualification, played three times for Ireland in 2006/7 and twice for England three years later.
Like Chris, Danny started at Royton Tigers and then had spells at Wigan, Warrington and Bradford (on loan) before signing for Rochdale Hornets.
From there he had two seasons in Australia with Queensland Cup side Redcliffe Dolphins before returning to England where he signed for his home-town club ahead of the 2018 season.
He is included in head coach Stuart Littler’s 37-strong train-on squad for the European qualifying competition for the 2021 World Cup.
Ireland are in Pool A with Italy and Spain, the top two going through to the World Cup tournament draw on November 27.
They play Spain in Valencia on October 26 and Italy in Santra on November 9.
The train-on squad, which also includes Batley and former Oldham forward Michael Ward and Leigh’s former Roughyed Greg McNally, will be captained by Toronto Wolfpack hooker Bob Beswick.
It includes 11 players from the Irish domestic league plus Ward (Batley), Keyes (Bradford), Tierein (Coventry), Reilly (Dewsbury), Roberts, Michael (Huddersfield), Ryan (Hull KR), McNally (Leigh). Podestra (Manly, Australia), BRIDGE (OLDHAM), Pewhairangi (New Zealand Warriors), McCarthy (Salford), Bentley (St Helens), Halton (Swinton), Mullalley, Beswick, Kay (Toronto Wolfpack), Mackin (Tweed Heads, Australia), O’Sullivan (University of Gloucester), King (Wakefield), Brand, Moran, Dean (Warrington), O’Neill (Widnes), Byrne (Wigan), O’Donnell (Workington).
Tickets for the Oldham v Newcastle Thunder promotion decider on Sunday will be on sale in the Roughyeds office between 10am and 3pm today (Thursday) and between 10am and 6pm tomorrow (cash or cheque only).
The match is NOT all-ticket but fans can help Roughyeds and help themselves by buying tickets in advance at normal league-match prices — £14 adults, £12 concessions and £2 under-16s with an additional £2 transfer to seats for adults and concessions and £3 for under-16s.
Hospitality places are also available at £35 which includes a seat for the game, three-course food, pre and post-match interviews and presentations, programme, team sheet and access to a pay bar.
To book or make further inquiries ring 07904 898177 between the times given above.