BEN Heaton and James Barran, who have both been out injured in the past few weeks, are back in Matt Diskin’s provisional 21-man squad for Oldham’s trip to Newcastle Thunder (3pm) on Sunday.
Fans will be delighted to see them back, but not so happy to learn that they are replacing injured regulars Dave Hewitt (ribs) and Danny Bridge (leg).
Scrum-half Hewitt, who has played in eight of the nine Betfred Championship games so far, had to leave the field near the end of the Sheffield Eagles game with rib cartilage damage.
Back-row forward Bridge, who has twice filled-in at centre in the last three games, has been troubled on and off by a knee problem since the second Championship game at Batley Bulldogs and he isn’t fit for this weekend.
He was sin-binned for dissent in the second half against the Eagles and subsequently banned for one game for “foul and abusive” language to the referee.
The suspension doesn’t kick-in until Tuesday, so he will miss the Bower Fold clash with Dewsbury Rams on Sunday week, June 27, as will Dewsbury’s Tom Garratt and Dan Hawksworth, each banned for one game for dangerous contact and a high tackle respectively.
Back to Sunday’s game and Heaton will be expected to replace Bridge at right-centre with Barran the likely replacement for Hewitt to partner Lewis Charnock at half-back.
The provisional squad is:
D Abram, J Abram, Barran, Bent, Brierley, Charnock. Dupree, Fletcher, Gregory, Hartley, Heaton, Hutchings, Ince, Joy, Kirk, Langtree, Nelmes, Owen, Pick, Reilly, Roberts.
Club captain Gareth Owen will reach a personal milestone of 200 career appearances in cup or league, having played 147 games for his home-town club, plus 15 for Sheffield and 37 for Salford, including more than 30 in Super League.
Now in his eighth season at Oldham, and his fifth as club captain, Owen is determined that Roughyeds will quickly return to winning ways after five league defeats in a row.
- Referee: A. Moore
- Touch Judge: A. Cameron
- Touch Judge: C. Etchells