Roughyeds news

Date published: Friday, March 18, 2011

KEY men Mark Brocklehurst and Paul Noone will have late fitness checks before Oldham RL boss Tony Benson finalises his squad to go to Workington on Sunday.

Left winger Brocklehurst, top try scorer with eight in four games, didn’t train on Tuesday for fear of further aggravating a sore calf muscle.

Back-row man Noone, who has more than 100 Super League games on his CV, was ill from a virus early in the week and was told to stay away from training last night (thurs) to reduce the risk of it spreading through the squad.

“Paul has assured me he will be okay,” said Benson, “but we will look at him and at ‘Brocky’ on Saturday morning before we name the party to travel.”

Joint vice-captains Martin Roden and Marcus St Hilaire are ruled out by hamstring injuries, but youngsters Ben Wood and Matthew Fogarty, who both picked up knocks in the 66-12 win against Gateshead Thunder last Sunday, have been cleared to play.

Mark Brocklehurst

Also back in contention are prop Dave Ellison, hooker John Clough and right-winger Lucas Onyango, but strong-running front-row man Tom Wood-Hulme is down to play for the Reserves at Whitebank tomorrow (2.30pm start) against his first professional club, Widnes Vikings.

The senior squad at Derwent Park (3pm, Sunday) will be picked from: Heaton, Fogarty, Wood, Bradbury, Brocklehurst, Onyango, N Roden, Diveney, Boults, Ellison, Whitmore, Clough, Gilchrist, Sutton, Isherwood, Noone, Clarke, Bentley.

Said Benson: “It’s a tough assignment, but we are really looking forward to testing ourselves against a team that’s tipped to be there or thereabouts at the end of the year.

“They’ve spent money to recruit the best Cumbrians they can find. They’ve gone for quality as well as quantity and they are stronger than they were last year. They are the early-season form team.

“However, we are going up there to prove a point and to show that we are back to our best and ready for the challenge.”

Big props Ryan MacDonald and Marc Jackson will be back to breath fire into the Workington pack. Town coach Gary Charlton believes the game will hinge on a big-impact forward battle with MacDonald and Jackson leading from the front.

Said Charlton: “You’ve got to meet fire with fire. We’ll see plenty of big collisions. It’s going to be a forward battle.”

Hooker Scott Mansfield, back after a loan spell with Rochdale, is included in a 19-strong Oldham Reserves squad for tomorrow’s opening game of the league season against Widnes at Whitebank (2.30pm start}. Alex Thompson and Ben Marsden return after injury.

Reserves (from): Thompson, Williams, Barrowclough, Marsden, B Robinson, Dean, Langtree, Dallimore, Knight, Barber, Cadd, Ward, Mansfield, S Robinson, Nield, Bridge, Crosby, Wood-Hulme, Connick.