STUART Littler, our head coach, has given the thumbs-up to Owen Restall’s Welsh connection.
The Oldham full-back, who was playing community rugby in Yorkshire this time last year, didn’t play for Wales in their 34-10 defeat by France in Albi on Sunday, but he was in the 21 to travel and is clearly in Welsh coach John Kear’s long-term plans.
Littler, who was largely responsible for signing the pacy full-back, said:
“He’s been a real success story this year. It’s been great to see him coming in from the amateur game and hitting the ground running, to such an extent that he’s now on the international scene.
“He’s in the top three try scorers in Betfred League One and that alone shows how well and how quickly he has adapted to life as a pro rugby league player.
“We all knew he was an outstanding amateur and I’m looking forward to seeing how he develops further with the Wales squad.
“We also had Calvin Wellington in John Kear’s initial 30 and to have two backs called up for an international squad is massive for the club.
“The more international-standard players we can get the better we are doing.”
Roughyeds currently have FIVE players with international connections — Restall and Wellington (Wales), Jordan Andrade (Jamaica), on-loan Declan O’Donnell (Ireland) and Jason Muranka (Serbia).
Oldham go to runaway League One leaders Keighley Cougars on Sunday (3pm). Cougars, who won 32-6 at the Vestacare Stadium on the opening day of the league season, have a four-point lead over Swinton Lions with ten wins from ten games.
Their winger Mo Agoro, a former Oldham player, heads the League One try chart with 16 — three more than Oldham’s Restall and Gav Rodden of North Wales Crusaders.
Keighley have three players in the top ten —Agoro, who is out in front, Charlie Graham, who has 11; and centre Nathan Roebuck, who has nine.