POINTS-MACHINE Carl Forber has joined Oldham RL Club on a month’s loan and he goes straight into the squad for tomorrow’s derby clash with Rochdale Hornets at Whitebank (3pm).
Roughyeds, who have been searching for another half-back since Matty Ashe left the club a few weeks ago, got their man last night at the second time of asking.
The 26-year-old Swinton and former St Helens, Leigh, Workington, Rochdale and Blackpool half-back was lined up to come to Oldham a week ago, but the Lions changed their minds at the last minute.
Tony Benson was forced to scrap his plans to include two new boys in the side that demolished London Skolars 52-26 last Sunday and had to settle instead for introducing one — prop Luke Stenchion.
The Oldham boss won’t finalise his derby line-up until training tonight, but he is expected to include both Stenchion and goalkicker Forber in his 17.
“We needed a third half-back,” said Benson, “and I’m delighted we’ve finally got Carl.
“Mick Diveney is coming on in leaps and bounds. He had his best game so far against Skolars, but we need three halves to cover all eventualities.
“I coached Carl at Leigh in 2006. He played centre as well as halfback and he was my top try scorer.
“He’s quick, elusive, he has a good kicking game and he’s not shy in defence.”
A product of the St Helens academy, Forber made two Super League appearances for Saints as an 18-year-old before playing four times for Leigh in the elite competition in 2005.
In two seasons at Workington he was the NL2’s top points scorer with 254 in 2007, while in 2008 he played and scored in every game, totalling 229 points.
In 2009 he had spells with Rochdale, Workington and Blackpool where he remained in 2010, scoring 15 tries in 29 outings.
“He has joined us for a month initially,” said Roughyeds chairman Chris Hamilton, “and we’ll see what happens after that.
“We know Carl well, and we know what he can bring to the club and to the team. We tried to sign him permanently last pre-season, but he went to Swinton instead.
“He hasn’t played a lot of rugby this year, so he is raring to go. It’s a good opportunity for him and it’s good timing for us, given that we have two games in four days.”
Matthew Fogarty, Valu Bentley and Paul Noone have recovered from knocks picked up in the Skolars game and full-back Ben Heaton has had the all-clear after missing that game with a knee injury.
Benson has so far named a squad of 25 to cover the Rochdale game tomorrow and Monday’s trip to Whitehaven.
Squad: Brocklehurst, Onyango, Fogarty, St Hilaire, Robinson, N Roden, Diveney, Boults, Clough, Clarke, Isherwood, Noone, M Roden, Stenchion, Bentley, Whitmore, Ellison, Wood, Heaton, Forber, Gilchrist, Bradbury, Williams, Sutton, Ward.
Said Benson: “We’ve got to check Michael Ward, who has been having treatment for a knee injury, but everyone else in that 25 is ready for action.
“We’ll think about Whitehaven once we’ve got Rochdale out of the way. It has all the makings of a terrific derby clash. We are up for it and looking forward to it.”