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Santa's sack for Oldham fans contains Joe Taira's capture

WITH impeccable timing, given that this is being presented as a Christmas present from the club, Roughyeds are delighted to announce the signing this Christmas Day morn of former Rochdale Hornets and Batley Bulldogs prop Joe Taira, a tough Fijian who was in Fiji’s squad for the recent Rugby League World Cup.

The 33-year-old, a strong and uncompromising front-row forward, was The Enforcer in Rochdale’s pack for several seasons and will be expected to play a similar role at Oldham, for whom he has signed a one-yearcontract.

Originally a Mayfield forward, Taira was a Matt Calland capture for Hornets in 2016 and played at the Crown Oil Arena for three seasons before joining Batley.

In 2017, he won Rochdale’s try-of-the-year trophy, but he is more noted for his vigorous running and full-on tackling than his try-scoring achievements and it will be those former qualities that have appealed to Roughyeds boss Stuart Littler.

Taira joined Batley ahead of the 2019 Championship season, making 19 appearances and scoring three tries, but Covid ruined 2020, whereupon he re-joined Hornets for 2021 and 2022.

He departed at the end of last season and has since been playing rugby union in the Hull area.

Last October he was invited into the Fiji camp as cover for NRL and Super League players who were to join their country’s World Cup plans at a later date.

Roughyeds fans are reminded that season tickets at current prices are available only until December 31.

The club has confirmed that season ticket holders will NOT be out of pocket following the withdrawal of West Wales Raiders and that options will be considered over Christmas before the club announces what it has decided.

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