Giants recall Mason

Date published: Thursday, August 1, 2013

OLDHAM have lost the services of on-loan prop Nathan Mason.

The highly-rated 19-year-old, who has played in top-of-the-table Roughyeds’ last four games, has been recalled by Super League leaders Huddersfield Giants.

Giants may now send him out to get even more experience at their link club Batley Bulldogs, who are lying fifth in the Championship with five games to play.

Said Oldham boss Scott Naylor: “Paul Anderson (Giants head coach) says Nathan is getting close to first-team selection, and with that in mind they may first give him some Championship experience with Batley.”

The former Waterhead junior played in four Oldham victories — Gateshead away (44-12), Oxford away (22-4), South Wales Scorpions at home (50-22) and North Wales Crusaders at home (28-10).

He and another loan prop, Barrow’s Matthew Haggarty, were brought in when regular front-rowers Jason Boults and Liam Gilchrist were both injured.

Gilchrist was back to his best form in a superb team performance against North Wales and although Boults was only in the squad as 18th man (on-duty reserve) he was fully fit after recovering from a broken finger that had kept him out for a few weeks.

Their return to fitness means that Naylor still has five props available for selection for Sunday’s tough test at London Skolars —- Phil Joy, Gilchrist, Boults, Haggarty and Michael Ward.

The versatile Ward started last Sunday’s game at loose-forward, but he has played mainly in the front-row this season and, wherever he plays in the pack, he makes an impact.

Added Naylor: “Jason Boults will be back in contention for the forwards and Richard Lepori will be available again for the backs after his hat-trick performance for Italy in Germany.

“I’ve got a fully-fit squad so once again I’ll have some tough decisions to make in team selection.”

* Roughyeds chairman Chris Hamilton, delighted by last Sunday’s crowd of 1,209, will be a Radio Manchester studio guest in tonight’s weekly rugby league show with Jack Dearden and Trevor Hunt between 6pm and 7pm.

It was the biggest Championship One crowd of the season; it doubled this season’s Whitebank average; and it was the best at that venue since September, 2010 when a play-off tie against York pulled in 1,275.

Said Hamilton: “We were pleased to see a lot of old faces as well as a lot of new ones thanks to our work in the local community in partnership with Regenda.”

* All fans — non-members as well as members — are invited to the next meeting of ORSA (Oldham Roughyeds’ Supporters’ Association) in the lounge at the Lyceum Theatre, Union Street next Wednesday, August 7, starting at 7.30pm.

Chairman Nigel Marland headed a three-strong ORSA delegation at a presentation in Brighouse this week in which the RFL outlined to supporters’ organisations the proposals for restructuring of the leagues from 2015.