Lucas back for 2012

Date published: Tuesday, November 15, 2011

LUCAS Onyango will be hugging the Whitebank touchline again in 2012.

The powerful Kenyan winger has fully recovered from a ruptured Achilles tendon and has signed a new one-year deal to cover his sixth season with Oldham RL Club.

He hasn’t played since he was injured in a freak accident during a team warm-up before the home game against Doncaster on Sunday, May 1.

It was a May Day calamity that was to rule out 30-year-old Onyango for the rest of the season

More than six months on, however, fans’ favourite Lucas is ready to launch himself into pre-season training with a steely determination to make up for lost time —- and lost games.

[singlepic id=418 w=320 h=240 float=left]He has also assured Roughyeds supporters that retirement has never crossed his mind.

“I played only ten games last season,” he said, “and it feels like ages since I was last in action.

“I can’t wait to start serious training again. I’m ready.

“Why would I think about packing in? Playing rugby is what I do best. It makes me happy, and that makes my wife Zena happy.

“When I’m not playing I’m confused and irritable. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.

“With a bit of luck I might play until I’m 35.”

Onyango first came to England in the Kenyan RU sevens squad for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. He liked it here, returned to stay and played RU for Sale Sharks and Manchester before switching codes to sign for Widnes Vikings in 2005
He signed for Oldham in March, 2007 and in his five seasons with the club he has scored 69 tries in 97 appearances.

“I’ve signed another contract,” he added, “because Oldham is like a second home.

“Most of my Kenyan friends live in the town and the fans have always made my family and me feel that we belong. That means a lot.”

Manchester Metropolitan University awarded him a degree in coaching and sports development earlier in the year and he is now studying for a masters in sports science.

He celebrated another big event in July when his son Ayad was born.

Looking to the season ahead, he said: “There are four promotion spots on offer so the ball is in our court. We are building a strong squad so we should be okay.”

Chairman Chris Hamilton said Lucas was one of the squad’s characters.

He added: “He is an exciting player whom the fans love to see racing up the wing. We are delighted he has signed again.

“He might come across as a player who doesn’t always take things seriously, but those close to him at the club know differently.

“He was out for so long through injury last season that it will be like having a new player, and that also applies to Dave Ellison and Chris Clarke.”