COOKIE BACK IN CONTENTION

Date published: Friday, March 22, 2013

DAVID Cookson may get his first senior game of the season for Oldham RL Club in South Wales on Sunday.

The Roughyeds line-up won’t be announced until later, but coach Scott Naylor has confirmed that Cookson will be in contention for this fourth and final group game in the Northern Rail Cup.
He missed the squad’s pre-season work because of a six-month RFL ban, but he has played twice at centre for the under-20s in order to regain match fitness.
For the third game in a row there will be no dual registered players in the side, but Naylor will tinker with it in selection so as to share the workload and to keep all his players fully match fit.
Seemingly with one eye already on next Friday’s Kingstone Press Championship One opener against Rochdale at Whitebank (3pm), the Roughyeds boss said it was important to keep everybody on their toes.
He added: “I want to keep everyone fresh so I’ll be switching things around a little bit this weekend (from the side that beat Gateshead Thunder) and tweaking how we play in our opponents’ half to make us more clinical.
“I don’t know much about South Wales and despite my best efforts I haven’t been able to acquire any footage on them, so we’ve been concentrating on how we will play.”
He will pick from the 17 on duty in the 34-16 win against Gateshead plus Jamie Dallimore, Chris Tyrer, Michael Ward and Cookson.
Oldham (from): Lepori, Agoro, Samuel, Nield, Bloomfield, Palfrey, Roden, Boults, Files, Gilchrist, Crowley, Langtree, Hobson, Hughes, Gee, Marriott, Joy, Dallimore, Tyrer, Ward, Cookson.
South Wales (probable): James; Jones, Pring, Lyon-Fraser, Grant; Olds, Powell; Burke, Farrer, Greenwood, Lloyd, Tutuila, Bateman. Subs: Vitalini, Tahroui, Wellings, Parry.
James Greenwood, a 21-year-old prop, is the former Saddleworth Rangers youngster, who is on dual registration with Scorpions from Wigan Warriors.
Another to watch out for is 19-year-old goalkicking stand-off Ollie Olds, a Welsh boy from Bridgend, who spent much of last season in the academy at Leeds Rhinos and later won a full Welsh cap against France in a side coached by Iestyn Harris.
Said Scorpions boss Dave Clark: “Oldham will be in the top three or four at the end of the season.
“This will be a big challenge for us physically and it will set us a benchmark.”
For Oldham, it will be the first of half a dozen long trips south, leaving at 8am and due back in town at 11pm.
Added Naylor: “We’ve got to get used to this long-distance travel, but I’m sure the boys are professional enough to deal with it.”
The game takes place at The Gnoll, home of Neath RUFC, kicking off at 3pm.
* Roughyeds under-20s play Scorpions at Whitebank tomorrow (2.30 kick off) with four debutants in Jack Morgan, Sam Singleton, Sam Wilson and local boy Hummad Istaf (17) from Oldham St Anne’s.
Team: Halsall; Ward, Pickerstaff, Parsonage, Whitfield; Morgan, Singleton; Hudson, Ball, Hurley, Hughes, Wilson, Ashcroft. Subs: Sherratt, Rasool, Foreman, Istaf.