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Wilky approaching 100 career appearances

Matty Wilkinson
Matty Wilkinson

EXPERIENCED hooker Wilkinson is in line to make his 100th career appearance this weekend against North Wales - the club he made his professional debut for.

During his 99 appearances, Matty has won promotion to the championship with Oldham in 2019 and most recently with Swinton Lions when they beat Doncaster 16-10 last year.

Matty is hoping his 100th appearance goes a little better than his first, which was a 42-16 loss to Rochdale Hornets when he was just 19 playing for Crusaders on dual-registration from Salford.

“It was a bit of a disaster, we were playing Rochdale and there was a lot of traffic on the motorway, so we actually only arrived at the ground ten minutes before kick off and they battered us, which is never good,”

he said.

His debut for Oldham was a 14-12 victory over Toulouse Olympique at Bower Fold, which Roughyeds won on the back of eight straight defeats.

So far in his career, he has made 61 appearances for Oldham (2017-2020, 2023-), 22 for Swinton (2022), 5 for Halifax (2017, dual-registration) and 11 for North Wales Crusaders (2016, dual-registration.

Recalling the 2019 promotion over Newcastle, he said: “Newcastle were heavy favourites to win and, at the time, they were splashing a lot of money about.

“They had some really good overseas players. But, that season we had a top team and coach in Nobby (Scott Naylor) who created a really good team spirit, which probably got us over the line in the end."

Matty started off playing rugby union for Leigh RUFC before going through the junior set-up at Leigh Miners Rangers.

He also represented Sale Sharks and Leigh Centurions at academy level before he was picked up for Salford, where he eventually signed a first-team contract.

Commenting on the record, he said: “It’s weird how it’s worked out, facing North Wales, who I made my professional debut for back in 2016.

“I want to keep going for as long as I can. I’m still enjoying it and playing for Oldham, where I’ve been for most of my career, is where I’m most comfortable.”

Roughyeds trip to North Wales this Sunday is a 2:30pm kick off at Stadiwm Eirias and admission prices are £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £3 for under 16s.

You can purchase tickets on the Crusaders website.

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