Davidson in line for home debut

Date published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014
ALEX Davidson, Oldham RL Club’s latest recruit, is lined up to make his Whitebank debut against an experienced Swinton Lions side in Sunday’s pre-season derby clash (3pm kick off).
The 21-year-old Salford front-row forward, who has signed for Roughyeds on season-long loan, made a rousing start off the bench in the 16-6 defeat at Barrow, only 24 hours after training with his new team mates for the first time.
Barrow-born, he moved to the St Helens area with his family when he was a small boy, ultimately playing for Blackbrook and turning pro for Salford at the age of 16.
“I have cousins and aunts and uncles who still live in Barrow, and they turned up in force at Craven Park to give me a shout,” he said.
“I quickly felt at home playing for Oldham because I knew a lot of the lads from when they were at Salford.
“I’ve played the odd game in Super League, but I’m looking forward immensely to playing first-team rugby at Oldham on a regular basis.”  
In fact, this Salford University student has played three times in Super League, making his debut off the bench aged 18 in a 38-14 home win against Hull KR in March, 2011.
His next two outings in the sport’s elite competition came last season when he was a substitute at Huddersfield Giants and again, five days later, against Leeds Rhinos at Salford.
Paddy Mooney, another young prop from London Broncos, and stand-off Brett Robinson are also in line for home debuts against the Lions.
Josh Crowley, who missed the Barrow game because of family commitments, will be back in contention, but Phil Joy, Lewis Palfrey, Danny Whitmore, Liam Thompson and Michael Ward will have fitness checks towards the end of the week.
Championship side Swinton have assembled a 19-man squad under new player-coach Ian Watson despite massive financial worries and major changes at boardroom level since the end of last season.
Four former Oldham players are expected to turn out —- Watson, Mick Nanyn and new signings Luke Menzies and Danny Halliwell.
Half-back Anthony Bowman, who played twice for Roughyeds last season while on loan from Halifax, has also joined the Lions.
Said Watson: “Two weeks into December we didn’t have a single player signed on, but we’ve 19 now and we’ll be ready for action when the Championship season kicks off.”
Admission prices on Sunday are £10 (adults), £8 (concessions), £3 (under-16s), with a £2 transfer into the seats.