Comeback of Lucas

Date published: Wednesday, March 7, 2012

LUCAS Onyango’s 11-month injury exile will end at Whitebank tomorrow (Thurs) night when he starts his comeback for the reserves against Sheffield Eagles (7.45).

The club has confirmed that the 30-year-old winger, in his sixth season with Roughyeds, will take to the field for the first time since he ruptured an Achilles tendon on May Day last year.

He was injured in a freak accident when he jumped to collect a high ball, and then fell awkwardly, during the team’s warm-up before the home game against Doncaster.

Having scored 69 tries in 97 appearances, the Kenyan will be hoping to play a major role in the club’s push for promotion this season, but first he must prove his fitness and the club will make sure he adopts a softly, softly approach.

In his first run-out he is likely to be given no more than half an hour before he is withdrawn.

Despite extensive efforts, Roughyeds were unable to arrange a pre-season friendly for the reserves, who go into the first of their 16 league games from cold.

Team: Nield; Onyango, Hinsley, Dean, Rigby; Reid, Connick; Thomas, Mansfield, Eyres, Bailey, Langtree, Smith. Subs: Hughes, Noon, Joy, Jackson.

Loose-forward Mark Smith is back after missing the whole of last season because he was working in America.

Centre Ben Hinsley was released by Halifax at the end of last season and immediately snapped up by Roughyeds.

Ben Bailey, in the second-row, was spotted playing for Widnes amateurs Simms Cross by Oldham’s new reserve team boss Paul Ashton, who rates him highly.

Craig Noon, on the bench, is a Widnes-born stand-off who has played for Salford City Reds, while Lewis Jackson, another new boy, is an Oldhamer who was once associated with Wigan Warriors,

“It’s important we win this one,” said Ashton, “because it sets the tone for the year and gives us something to build on.”

Anyone wishing to travel to Whitebank on the free bus from The Junction public house on Ripponden Road must book before 10pm tonight on 0161 633 2759.

The Junction will also be taking fans to Workington on Sunday for Oldham’s first hit-out in Championship One. Cost is £14 and seats need to be booked by 10pm tomorrow,