Dual Reg boys settle in

Date published: Friday, March 1, 2013

FOUR highly-rated youngsters from Salford City Reds, including exciting teenagers John Ford and Niall Evalds, have joined  Oldham on dual registration.

They will be among the 23 players from whom Scott Naylor will select his 18 to go to Wrexham on Sunday (2.30pm kick off) for the first game of the season against North Wales Crusaders.
The Roughyeds boss will consider the claims of his Reds’ recruits Ford, Evalds, Will Hope and Jordan Walne, before settling on his 18 at training tomorrow.
All but Evalds played in the Salford under-20s side against Oldham at Whitebank three weeks ago, Ford and Hope scoring two of the visitors’ four tries in Oldham’s 34-22 win.
Ford, a tall, rangy centre and an academy international, is pushing for first-team recognition at Salford after winning his club’s under-19s player-of-the-year award in 2012.
Evalds, born in Halifax and a wing or full-back, was a Wigan Warriors scholar before he signed for Salford in 2009, aged 15. He has already made two try-scoring Super League appearances this season against Catalan Dragons and Leeds Rhinos.
Walne, a prop, was also at Wigan before joining Salford as a 16-year-old. He is now a full-time pro with the senior squad.
Hope, a back-row forward, has had seven years with the Reds after signing as a 13-year-old. Currently captain of the under-20s.
Giving Oldham’s stance on the new dual reg regulations, Naylor said they were here to stay and most clubs were using them to their advantage.
He added: “Salford coach Phil Veivers will tell us each week who is available to us and then ‘Spanner’ (assistant coach Lee Spencer) and I will decide what we should do with Oldham’s best interests in mind.
“I was at Salford for 12 years and ‘Spanner’ was there for seven. We are both close to that club, so we are not taking on dual reg lads whom we don’t know from a club we know little about.
“We know the players and they know us. They also know a lot of the lads at Oldham.
“This dual reg system will seem strange at first because its something new, but once people get used to it, it will become the norm.
“For the first couple of weeks it will seem odd to see boys coming in from another club to join our unit, which has been together for three months.
“It will work a lot more comfortably than some people might imagine, however, because of our close associations with Salford. It’s rather like having an extended squad.
“Our aim is to win promotion, and it’s in Salford’s interests for that to happen so that their dual reg lads next year will be playing at a higher level.
“They want to do all they can to help to us to achieve our goals. If there was anything detrimental to Oldham we wouldn’t touch it.
“Salford are keen to help us to achieve our goals and aspirations and that’s got to be good for our club.”
Squad (to be cut to 18 later): Lepori, Agoro, Samuel, Nield, Bloomfield, Palfrey, Dallimore, Gilchrist, Gee, Boults, Crowley, Ward, Hobson, Roden, Files, Hughes, Tyrer, Marriott, Langtree, Walne, Hope, Ford, Evalds.
Crusaders, who have invested heavily since the end of last season, have arguably the most experienced squad in the third tier, having signed battle-hardened forwards like Phil Braddish, Gary Middlehurst, Dave McConnell, Ryan McDonald and Steve McDermott as well as former Bradford and Warrington full-back or wing Stuart Reardon.
+Roughyeds have also completed the signing of 19-year-old prop Aaron Hall from Folly Lane amateurs, who has been training with the first-team squad since Christmas.
Hall plays for the under-20s against Leigh Centurions at Leigh East tonight (7.30) in a side that also includes prop Phil Joy and centre David Cookson, the latter having completed a six-month RFL ban.
Under-20s: Halsall; Woods, Cookson, Parsonage, Whitfield; Flanagan, Fitzsimmons; Joy, Ball, Hudson, S Hughes, Hargreaves, Ashcroft; Subs: Hall, Seargant, Morris, R Ward.