Edwin signs on dual reg

Date published: Monday, March 10, 2014
OLDHAM RL have signed highly-rated teenage centre Edwin Okanga-Ajwang from Salford Red Devils on a dual-registration agreement.
It will last for the full season, but when the 19-year-old is not required to play for Oldham — and only then — he will be made available to play for Salford’s senior academy side.
He has had three training sessions with Roughyeds, but coach Scott Naylor felt it was too soon to throw him in at the deep end against Hemel yesterday.
There is every chance, however, that he will be given his Oldham debut when Roughyeds travel to Cumbria on Saturday to take on amateurs Egremont in the third round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup.
The youngster signed for Salford from Halifax-based amateurs Siddal when he was 17. 
In 2012 he played for Salford at under-18s and under-20s levels and last year he became part of the international academy squad.
Also last year, aged 18, he played two Super League games for Salford, the first at Bradford Bulls and the second at Widnes.
Said Oldham boss Scott Naylor: “Salford have high hopes for him and he has come to us so that we can introduce him to regular rugby at the next level.
“He needs to be playing at a higher level now than under-19s and we can provide him with that opportunity in Championship One.
“We hope he’ll have a good season with us which will help his overall development; a similar agreement to that which saw Jon Ford (now on loan to Sheffield Eagles in the Championship) do so well for us last year.
“Edwin started training with us last week. There is every chance he will make his debut in the cup tie.”
Another Salford youngster, utility forward George Tyson, made his Roughyeds debut in the under-20s side which was beaten 42-10 by Leigh Centurions on Saturday.
Tyson, here on season-long loan, had a strong game in a pack in which prop Phil Joy also came through well in his first game of the year.
“I suffered no reaction to my groin trouble. It was great to be back,” said Joy, who might also be pushing for a senior recall in Cumbria.
Centre Phil Bickerstaff and prop Brad Roden scored Oldham tries while Tom Dempsey landed a goal and Sam Singleton excelled with a superb game at full-back.
Leigh fielded five of their first-team squad — four-try Alex Brown, props Ryan Duffy and Jamie Acton, loose-forward Andy Thornley and substitute Michael Ostick.
Said coach Neil Roden: “We can only get better. This was our first run-out against a very strong Leigh side. I can take a lot of positives from it.”
Loose-forward Liam Thompson suffered a suspected fractured eye socket against Hemel, while full-back Tom Whitehead suffered a recurrence of Achilles trouble.
Thompson was taken to hospital for x-rays.