Law Cup Looming

Date published: Friday, January 4, 2013

OLDHAM RL fans are likely to get their first glimpse of Scott Naylor’s new-look squad in the annual Law Cup clash with derby rivals Rochdale Hornets at Spotland on Sunday, February 17.

Match details have still to be finalised, but talks are well advanced and confirmation of the fixture, including kick-off time and admission prices, is expected in the next few days. 
This traditional warm-up game did not take place last year, but the cup is currently in Oldham hands, the Roughyeds having won 34-28 at Whitebank in 2011.
To date there are ten new faces in Naylor’s reshaped squad.
He is keen to arrange more than one run-out before the start of the season proper with a Northern Rail Cup pool tie against North Wales Crusaders in Wrexham on Sunday, March 3 (2.30 kick off), but to fix them is proving more difficult than usual this year because Super League and Championship clubs start a month earlier than clubs in the third tier.
The Championship kicks off on Thursday, January 31 with the televised clash of Halifax and Sheffield Eagles and Super League starts the next night with Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC and Salford City Reds v Wigan Warriors.
RFL chief executive Nigel Wood, meanwhile, has predicted that 2013 will be the sport’s most eventful and most important year since the birth of Super League in 1996.
Referring to the forthcoming World Cup and the inclusion of new clubs Hemel Stags, Oxford and Gloucester All-Golds in Championship One, he said: “We must grab the opportunity to showcase our great sport to new audiences.
“Hemel, Oxford and Gloucester show how the game is expanding outside traditional areas and they form part of the RFL’s vision to spread rugby league across the country.
“They join a competition (Championship One) which runs from the north-east of England to south Wales and across to London   and I look forward to an exciting season ahead in each of the Championship divisions.”