CHRIS Murphy and Tommy Connick get call up

Date published: Friday, July 13, 2012

CHRIS Murphy and Tommy Connick, who have been playing well in the reserves, have been added to Oldham RL Club’s first-team squad ahead of Sunday’s clash with London Skolars at Whitebank (3pm kick off).

Both will provide cover for key positions —- Murphy at full-back and Connick in the halves.

Said coach Tony Benson: “Miles Greenwood’s wife is due to have a baby so Chris Murphy will stand by in case Miles is unavailable.

“Danny Whitmore’s hand injury means we also need someone to cover for Neil Roden and Jamie Dallimore at half-back, and that job will go to Tommy Connick

“He will double-up in the reserves at Sheffield, but from the start of next week he will train regularly with the first team, providing he can change his shifts at work so that he can be with us on Tuesday evenings.”

Murphy (22), formerly with Warrington Wolves, was signed for the first team early this year, but he suffered a serious knee injury in a pre-season game at Whitehaven.

He was out for four months, but he has since proved his fitness in the reserves.

Connick, once a junior at St Helens, is in his third season at Oldham, having played a key role in the reserves’ championship triumph last year.

Benson is preparing for the London game with a squad of 20, comprising 16 of the 17 who produced a better performance at Whitehaven, plus Murphy, Connick, Martin Roden and Chris Clarke.

Clarke returns after a two-month injury absence and Martin Roden is recalled as second hooker because Alex Thompson drops down to the reserves.

Colton Roche, signed from Leeds Rhinos on dual registration, is again required by his parent club and another absentee is Jamie Acton, who has suffered broken ribs while cage fighting.

Team (from): Greenwood, Murphy, Foxen, Cookson, McCully, Gillam, N Roden, Dallimore, Connick, Boults, Gilchrist, Clough, M Roden, D Smith, Ellison, Clarke, P Smith, Noone, Ward, Bentley.

Second-row man Paul Noone is doubtful because of a stomach disorder. He didn’t train last night, but he will be given as long as possible.

Added Benson: “We were a lot better at Whitehaven and everyone in the camp will take heart from that. If we can step up again to the next level we will be hard to beat.

“Having said that, Skolars are a strong side. We have watched them closely on the tapes and they play well.

“They will give us a big challenge, but we are up for it.

“A win will put our heads back on. We’ve gone through a tough period, but once we get a win we will look a different team.”

Skolars boss Joe Mbu said: “This is one of our most important games of the season because we have our sights on the play-offs.

“We’ve pushed sides above us in most games, but we will need to push a little bit harder at Whitebank.”

Roughyeds reserves take 19 players to Sheffield tomorrow (3pm), including new signing Joe Mulhearn, a back-row forward from Pontefract, who has played for Ireland.

Squad: Nield, Worrall, Fisher, Noon, Hilliard, Connick, Joy, Thompson, Cunningham, Langtree, Hughes, Moran, Wood-Hulme, Mulkeen, Hinsley, Dean, Brocklehurst, Foreman, Mulhearn.

Mark Brocklehurst will be in charge from the bench in the absence of coach Paul Ashton.

The game will be played at Mount St Mary’s College (postcode S21 3YH), leaving the M1 at junction 30 on to the A6135 for Spinkhill village.