Lepori in line for debut?

Date published: Friday, February 15, 2013

OLDHAM RL fans may get their first look at another Roughyeds new boy in Sunday’s Law Cup clash with Rochdale Hornets at Spotland.

Ten debutants were used in the 34-22 win against a young Salford City Reds squad, but the half-Italian full-back or wing Richard Lepori missed out after taking a knock in training.
He is added to the 19 who figured last Sunday, however, and providing he suffers no adverse reaction to training last night he will almost certainly play at least part of the game.
Chorley born, of an English mother and an Italian father, Lepori caught the eye of professional scouts while playing for England schoolboys at under-15s and under-16s.
He signed for Salford where he was coached at academy and reserves level by the two men now in charge at Oldham, Scott Naylor and Lee Spencer.
On leaving The Willows at the end of the 2011 season, he moved to Yorkshire to study at Leeds Met University, while playing in 2012 for Castleford Tigers reserves.
Naylor won’t name his starting line-up until training tomorrow, but his 20-man squad will comprise last week’s 19, plus Lepori.
Squad: Palfrey, Agoro, Samuel, Nield, Bloomfield, Roden, Dallimore, Gilchrist, Gee, Boults, Crowley, Langtree, Hobson, Files, Tyrer, Joy, Hughes, Ward, Marriott, Lepori.
Former Hornets players Dale Bloomfield, Mark Hobson and Danny Samuel will return to Spotland for the first time in Oldham jerseys, having played in previous Law Cup clashes wearing red, white and blue.
Said Naylor: “All the boys are eagerly looking forward to this one, but none more so than these three.”
Bloomfield was a prolific try scorer on the wing for Rochdale and he would love nothing more than to show his former employers that he still has the scoring knack.
Hobson spent four seasons as the workhorse of the Hornets pack, while Samuel impressed in two spells at Spotland where he was used mainly as a running second-row forward.
The game will also have special significance for Oldham’s 19-year-old front-row man Callum Marriott.
Born in Rochdale, he was only five years old when his father Karl, a Hornets forward of some repute, died in tragic circumstances after a training session while at the pinnacle of his rugby league career.
As has been the case for the last few years, the Karl Marriott Memorial Trophy will be presented to the Law Cup man of the match, while the Oldham RL Heritage Trust will present their trophy to the best Roughyeds’ player.
Interestingly, only three members of Sunday’s squad remain from the Oldham side which beat Hornets 34-28 when the Law Cup was last up for grabs two years ago —- Neil Roden, Jason Boults and Liam Gilchrist.
Like Oldham, Hornets will also be unrecognisable from last year’s outfit, having changed much of their playing personnel, bringing in a new coach, Ian Talbot, and entering into a partnership with St Helens, from where they landed their new head coach.
Two key men are unavailable, full-back Wayne English and stand-off Paul Crook, and Talbot has intimated that he will go to his partner club to replace them with Super League fringe players.
The game starts at 3pm, admission £10 adults, £8 concessions, £3 under-16s.
++Roughyeds have arranged a pre-season run-out for their under-20s, who will play York City Knights at Whitebank on Wednesday night, February 20, kick-off 8pm. Admission £4 adults, £2 concessions.