former Widnes duo due to feature in the Law cup

Date published: Tuesday, January 3, 2012

TWO former Vikings have plundered places in Oldham RL Club’s squad for Sunday’s Law Cup clash with Rochdale Hornets at Whitebank.

Ex-Widnes youngsters Tom Rigby and Jack Reid will both figure in the rearranged fixture this weekend (3pm kick off) following its postponement yesterday because of a waterlogged pitch.

They have impressed while pre-season training with Roughyeds reserves and coach Tony Benson pencilled in 21-year-old utility back Rigby for his senior debut on the recommendation of under-23s boss Paul Ashton.

He has since elevated Reid to the seniors as well and the midfield playmaker, also 21, did enough in two training sessions at the back end of last week to earn a Law Cup call-up alongside his former Vikings team mate.

“I’ve liked the look of them in training,” said Benson, “and they will both be in the squad on Sunday.

“Reid, who has played loose-forward, stand-off and hooker for Widnes, will go in the mix with Neil Roden and Jamie Dallimore to show us what he can do in the halves.”

It isn’t yet known where Rigby will play, but it is thought he might be given a chance at full-back.

An upbeat Benson said he wasn’t left as flat as his players by the postponement of the game yesterday.

“A lot of them sent me texts saying how disappointed they were,” he said, “but from a coaching point of view I would much prefer to play a game like this on a pitch that’s firm and in good nick.

“A game played in heavy, muddy conditions would have been of no value whatsoever to me or to Stanky (Hornets coach John Stankevitch).

“We’ll each be looking at new players, skill levels and team combinations and you can only do that in reasonable conditions.

“It’s also important that we protect the pitch as best we can.

“Underneath the surface water and the saturated areas, the grass is probably in the best shape its ever been in at this time of year thanks to the work that was done on it last summer.

“It would have been silly to ruin it for the sake of putting the match back for seven days.”

The decision to call it off was taken after a 9.30am inspection.

Said chairman Chris Hamilton: “It was frustrating because it was such a decent day. But the change in the weather came 24 hours too late.

“The pitch had improved considerably from Sunday afternoon to Monday morning, but it was still unplayable.”

The Supporters’ Association (ORSA) meet at Whitebank on Thursday (8pm). All fans are welcome.