Gilchrist hits the comeback trail

Date published: Thursday, March 3, 2011

YOUNG prop Liam Gilchrist, who damaged a shoulder in Oldham’s Northern Rail Cup defeat at Halifax on February 13, hits the comeback trail tonight with a run-out for the Reserves at Keighley (7.30pm).

“It’s an opportunity for Liam to get some valuable game time,” said Reserves coach John Hough, who takes a 20-man squad to Cougar Park for the second team’s third and final pre-season match.

Hough will be seeking a third straight win following a 36-12 victory over Dewsbury Rams and a 28-10 triumph against Halifax, both at Whitebank.

Hooker Alex Thompson, utility back Adam Hunt and prop Mark Thomas are ruled out by injury and are replaced by debutants Greg Worrall, Brett Robinson and Gilchrist.

Worrall, a centre from Oldham St Anne’s, is the son of former Oldham and Great Britain tackling machine Mick Worrall, who toured Down Under in 1984 and played in the first two of three Tests against Australia.

Robinson, a hooker, has played Academy rugby with Wigan Warriors and has also had a spell with Rochdale Hornets.

“This will be a big test in our first away game,” added Hough, “and Paul Ashton (his assistant) and I are looking for everyone to carry on improving individually so that we have selection headaches for the opening league game at York on March 10.”

Reserves (from): Williams, Barrowclough, Marsden, B Robinson, Dean, Langtree, Worrall, Dallimore, Knight, Brookes, Gilchrist, Smith, Barber, Cadd, Ward, S Robinson, Nield, Bridge, Crosby, Connick.

Head coach Tony Benson will check on the fitness of several players at training tonight ahead of Sunday’s third-round Carnegie Challenge Cup tie against amateurs Hunslet Warriors at Whitebank (3pm).

He already has to find replacement wingers for his usual pair, Lucas Onyango and John Gillam, who are ruled out by suspension and injury respectively.

Full-back Ben Heaton was knocked out in a tackle during the Whitehaven game last Sunday and he will continue to be monitored over the next few days.

Centre Jack Bradbury, scrum-half Mick Diveney and hooker Danny Whitmore, all rested last week, will each be hoping for a recall in the last game before the start of the Co-operative Championship One campaign, whick kicks off for Roughyeds with the visit of Gateshead Thunder to Whitebank on Sunday week.

Oldham season tickets are valid for Sunday’s tie but not for subsequent rounds in the event of Roughyeds going through.