Naylor-Anderson in new talks on dual-regDate published: Thursday, April 30, 2015
SCOTT Naylor has used only one dual-reg player in the last five games, but that may change as League One’s big guns loom large on the horizon.
After Sunday’s visit of Gloucester All Golds to Whitebank (3pm kick off), Oldham travel to Barrow Raiders and Keighley Cougars and face up to Newcastle Thunder and North Wales Crusaders at home in a month that could define the Roughyeds’ season.
Nobody will relish coming to Whitebank where Naylor’s men are unbeaten in regular league-match rugby for a run of 18 games spanning two years, almost to the day.
Naylor is mindful, however, that it would be foolhardy not to take advantage of the dual-reg agreement with partner club Huddersfield Giants when his 22-man squad, currently numbering 21 because of Tom Ashton’s knee injury, is heading into such a tough and demanding few weeks.
The Oldham boss has had talks with his Giants counterpart and former Bradford Bulls team mate Paul Anderson.
“I’ve established that some Huddersfield players will be available to us, but nothing has been decided yet,” said Naylor.
“With such a lot of tough games coming up it would be silly not to consider that option.”
It isn’t yet known whether Naylor would wish to go down that route for the Gloucester game or look at how his squad is shaping up after that match and ahead of the trip to Barrow a week on Saturday, May 9, kick-off 6.30pm.
He wasn’t entirely satisfied with his table-topping team’s 48-6 win against London Skolars, however, so he might opt to freshen things up a little by introducing dual-reg reinforcements this week to pave the way for what’s to come.
“We need to step up our overall performance levels, starting this week,” he added. “The score against Skolars didn’t really reflect the game.
“I’m looking for improvements in one or two areas.
“Gloucester are a different side from the one we first came across in 2013. They’ve got stronger year on year and we’ve got to beware a backlash after their heavy defeat by Swinton in their last game.
“We expect a tough game and we’ll certainly have to improve on last week’s performance.”
Loan players Nathan Mason (Huddersfield) and Jon Ford (Salford) fall into a different category than dual-reg players and are here on a more permanent basis, Mason potentially for the full season and Ford at least into June.
Taking the nine cup and league games so far, Naylor has had use of four dual-reg players from the Giants with one appearance each by winger Jodie Broughton and young forward Oliver Roberts and two appearances each by up-and-coming pack pair Micky Learmonth and Josh Johnson.