Graham Holroyd

Date published: Thursday, June 21, 2012

VETERAN stand-off Graham Holroyd will take a back seat at Oldham RL following Neil Roden’s return to fitness.

Holroyd (36), the former Leeds and Halifax star, was playing rugby union for Preston Grasshoppers when Roughyeds signed him in April to fill-in for their injured captain and midfield general.

Roden, who has scored more than 100 tries for the club in nearly 300 games, would always be a hard act to follow.

Holroyd’s first game was a 20-20 draw at London Skolars, in which influential forwards Paul Noone and Paul Smith joined Roden on the long-term injury list.

As the casualty list grew, Holroyd increasingly found himself at the rudder of a struggling side that had lost most of its experienced campaigners.

He couldn’t better his debut-day draw in the capital, following that with four losses from four outings.

Roden was back in his familiar No 6 jersey to lead the side in the next game at North Wales Crusaders, but that also ended in a narrow 30-28 defeat despite a bewildering 15-5 penalty count in the Welsh side’s favour.

Coach Tony Benson confirmed today that Holroyd would not figure in Sunday’s crucial derby against Rochdale Hornets at Whitebank.

He said: “We signed Graham on a short-term agreement until Neil Roden was fit again. That was always the case.

“He will, however, remain on our register in case we need him again.

“He trains regularly and keeps himself fit so that would not be a problem if we ever wished to recall him.”

Prop David Tootill’s immediate future is also in the balance.

His month’s loan from Hunslet has expired, but Oldham remain in contact with Hawks boss Barry Eaton and expect to have more dialogue before the end of the week.

Reserve-team centre Ben Hinsley, sin-binned for fighting in the home win against Halifax on June 9, has been banned for two matches after submitting an early guilty plea to the RFL disciplinary committee. The action was brought by the match review panel.

Hinsley misses tonight’s under-23s game at Keighley (7.45pm kick off) and next Thursday’s home match against York.

Centre Matthew Fogarty is out of tonight’s game with a hand injury, his place going to Chris Murphy, the former Warrington Wolves youngster who will be in action for the first time since he badly damaged a knee in a pre-season game at Whitehaven.

Team: Lloyd; Fisher, Murphy, Nield, Worrall; Noone, Connick; Acton, Hughes, Langtree, Cunningham, Cookson, Moran. Subs: Joy, Hilliard, Foreman, Mansfield.

The under-18s go to Keighley on Saturday (2.30), picking from this 19-man squad:

Kenwright, Woods, Ashworth, Ward, Eastup, Flanagan, Lawton, J Morris, A Morris, Broadman, White, Hughes, Ashcroft, Hulme, Ryan, Ball, Sargent, Hudson, Mallinson.

They have won one and lost two of their previous games, going down 26-6 at York and 36-30 at home to Halifax and winning 24-6 at Hunslet.