YOUNG hooker or half-back Sean Slater, out for eight weeks with a serious knee injury which he suffered in a pre-season friendly at Keighley, is back in Oldham’s initial 21-man squad for Sunday’s trip to Doncaster.
Out go prop Dominic Newton, who is ill; winger Liam Copland, who has a back injury that might keep him on the casualty list for some time; and the two loanees Logan Astley and Tom Forber, who have been recalled by Wigan Warriors.
Into the 21 go Slater; utility back Joe Hartley; and two more hookers, Ryan Wright and Billy Yarrow, who is training with us from Dewsbury Celtic.
Full-back Owen Restall goes into the game as top try scorer in Betfred League One, with 11 in five matches.
Squad: Andrade, Cameron, Carr, Cooke, Coventry, Ferry, Hartley, Hewitt, Holcroft, Jinks, Morgan, Nelmes, Restall, Ridyard, Slater, Spencer, Thornton, Whittel, Windrow, Wright, Yarrow.
Richard Horne has made four changes in his 21, bringing in Pat O’Donovan for the first time since he signed on loan from Wakefield Trinity.
His Trinity team mate Tobe Poching, a half-back who is also on loan, could make his first appearance in blue and gold.
Loui McConnell and Ben Mathiou are also included after signing on loan from Featherstone Rovers.
Squad: Cockayne, Corion, Fella, Foster, Halliday, Howe, Mathiou, McConnell, O’Donovan, Ollett-Hobson, Petersen, Poching, Roberts, Robinson, Ruan, Sanderson, Smeaton, Storey, Tali, Whitmore, York.
Neither team has yet beaten a northern heartland team so something will have to give as far as the “northern powerhouse” goes.
The Dons’ three wins were against Midlands Hurricanes, Cornwall (both at home) and West Wales Raiders, which they were given 48-0 because Raiders called it off for medical reasons.
Roughyeds, one point and one place behind them in the league table, have had two wins against West Wales and Cornwall, while picking up a point at Hunslet in a 22-22 draw.
“We are a work in progress,”
says coach Stu Littler, whose squad has been concentrating this week on set completion, not conceding penalties and playing for 80 minutes without periodic lapses.
- Referee: M. Rossleigh
- Touch Judge: J. Ruckledge
- Touch Judge: J. Stearne