Roughyeds to play St Helens young guns

Date published: Thursday, January 12, 2012

RUGBY league stars of the future will be twinkling at Whitebank on Friday, January 27 (8pm kick off) when Oldham play a young St Helens side in the Roughyeds’ third of four pre-season warm-up games.

Among the many youth internationals to be paraded by Saints will be 17-year-old Oldham-born half-back Danny Yates, who played his early rugby at Waterhead and who still lives in Moorside.

Yates was one of several Saints’ youngsters who played for England Academy when narrowly beaten 22-20 by the Australian Institute of Sport at Leigh Sports Village on December 5.

“Our team at Oldham will also include three more young, full-time first-team players who played in the same game, namely Mark Percival, Greg Wilde and Dominic Speakman,” said Saints’ high performance manager, Mike Rush.

“We’ll a lso play full-time youngsters such as the talented Scott Hale and Carl Forster as well as former academy internationals and first-year full-time players Josh Jones and Danny¬† Jones.

Some senior players might also be in the Saints squad if it is felt they could benefit from a game only a week before their opening Super League fixture at London Broncos.

“”We were delighted to get the call from Saints, who were specifically looking for a game on the last Friday of the month,” said Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton.

“It will be a key part of their build-up for Super League, sandwiched as it is between their Karalius Cup game against Widnes the previous week in their new Langtree Park stadium and their opening Super League game in London a week later.

“It will be an opportunity for our lads to go up against full-time professionals, and it will provide our fans with a chance to look at bright, young prospects who have already sampled Super League or will do soon.”

The full pre-season programme for Roughyeds is:

Sunday, January 15, (Whitebank, 4pm), Oldham v Rochdale H (Law C up).

Sunday, January 22, (Recreation Ground, 3pm), Whitehaven v Oldham (SEAT Trophy).

Friday, January 27, (Whitebank, 8pm), Oldham v St Helens Select.

Sunday, February 5, (Post Office Road, 3pm), Featherstone v Oldham.

The season proper kicks off on Sunday, February 12 (3pm) when Featherstone come to Whitebank in the pool stage of the Northern Rail Cup.