New man lined up

Date published: Wednesday, July 18, 2012

OLDHAM Rugby League Club hope to strengthen in time for the new man to play in the reserves against runaway leaders Featherstone at Whitebank tomorrow night (kick-off 7.45pm).

The club expects to complete formalities later today, after which the signing will be officially announced.

“We won’t name him until everything is tied up. If it’s done in time he will definitely play against Featherstone,” said acting reserve-team boss Mark Brocklehurst.

Roughyeds are keen to provide Brocklehurst with reinforcements following the promotion to the senior squad of half-back Tommy Connick and utility back Chris Murphy, who scored a try against London Skolars last Sunday on his first-team debut.

Connick played in the reserves’ 54-22 win at Sheffield on Saturday, but it isn’t known yet whether he will play tomorrow or whether he will be in the first-team squad to travel to South Wales on Sunday.

Added Brocklehurst: “I can’t name a side, or even a squad, until I know which players, if any, I will be getting from the first team.

“We came out of the Sheffield game pretty much in good health so I expect us to be close to full strength.”

Irish international centre Joe Mulhearn, who made his Roughyeds debut in the win at Sheffield, will be in line to play at Whitebank for the first time.

Featherstone’s Kiwi centre Tangi Ropati, out since April with a broken jaw, will start his comeback at Whitebank as will another first team player, half-back Johnny Hepworth, who has recovered from a back problem.

Ropati is on the way back from a horrendous injury, which needed three steel plates and 13 pins inserted into his face.

“Tangi needs to get some confidence back,” said Rovers coach Daryl Powell.

Brocklehurst will prepare his side at George Street playing fields in Shaw this evening before finalising his 17.