Roughyeds sign young winger Richard Lepori

Date published: Tuesday, January 8, 2013

SCOTT Naylor, Oldham RL Club’s new boss, has pinned his faith in another former Salford City Reds youngster by signing 21-year-old utility back Richard Lepori on a one-year contract.

Born in Chorley, of an English mother and an Italian father, the third-year Leeds Met University student becomes the 11th new player at Whitebank and the fourth with a recent City Reds background.
Like hooker Adam Files (19), prop Callum Marriott (19) and half-back Lewis Palfrey (22), Lepori learned his trade in the academy set-up at The Willows where he was coached by both Naylor and the man who followed him to Oldham as assistant boss, Lee Spencer.
He said: “I was coached by ‘Spanner’ (Spencer) for three years and Scott for one and the opportunity to work with them again was a huge factor in my desire to join Oldham.
“I’ve been training at the club since the boys returned for pre-season work six weeks ago and not for a long time have I been as excited about a new season as I am at the thought of what lies ahead of us in the coming months.
“I’ve played a lot on the wing, but I’ve also done a fair bit at full-back and that’s the position I fancy pushing for.”
Having left Salford at the end of the 2011 season, he played in the reserves at Castleford in 2012 while studying in Leeds for a degree in sport, leisure and culture.
He didn’t take up rugby league at Chorley Panthers until he was 14, but he quickly shot to prominence by playing for England schoolboys at under-15s and under-16s and then signing for Salford.
During his time at The Willows, he left an indelible impression on Naylor and Spencer.
Describing Lepori as “a good player, a good pro and a good person”, Naylor said he would be a big asset to the squad as a player who could usefully perform anywhere across the back division.
He added: “A few of the boys have versatility value and Richard is no different. I’ve known him a long time. He will give us options in team selection and that is going to be very important.
“He’s reliable with a first-class attitude — the type of player and the type of person I am always looking for.”
Roughyeds now have 22 players under contract, comprising ten backs (average age 23) and 12 forwards, whose average age is 22.
Seven of them are 22 or under, namely Josh Crowley (21), Danny Langtree (21), Phil Joy (21), Kenny Hughes (22), Liam Thompson (20), Marriott (19) and Files (19).