Roughyeds trio in for treatment

Date published: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
THREE Oldham backs are having treatment as Roughyeds prepare for their opening Kingstone Press Championship One game in South Wales on Sunday.
Centre David Cookson (groin) and two who could be vying for the full-back spot, Steven Nield (hamstring) and Tom Whitehead (Achilles tendon) will face fitness checks before coach Scott Naylor names his side to take on South Wales Scorpions in Maesteg.
Whitehead’s only involvement in two pre-season games was a 40-minute run-out at Barrow a month ago .
Said Naylor: “We expect all three to be available for selection. We are taking precautions with them, but I think they’ll be okay.
“By the time I pick the side on Saturday I expect everybody to be in the frame with the exception of Phil Joy.”
That includes captain and influential half-back Lewis Palfrey. He missed both pre-season games with a muscle injury in his lower back, but he was cleared to play a fortnight ago in the friendly against Leigh, which was postponed because of the adverse weather.
Oldham’s third-round Tetley’s Challenge Cup tie against Egremont Rangers in Cumbria is likely to be arranged for Saturday, March 15.
Rangers believe a Sunday game wouldn’t be as popular with their diehard fans, who are used to watching amateur rugby league on the first day of the weekend.
“We’ve no problem with playing on the Saturday,” said Roughyeds chairman Chris Hamilton. “Egremont know their own supporters. We’ll go along with that.”
Both clubs are keen for the tie to be staged at nearby Whitehaven, but Oldham stress that venue, day and kick-off time have all to be confirmed.
As expected, Rangers have hailed the tie as one that gives them a real chance of progressing to the next round.
Colin Armstrong, the amateurs’ coach and a former Workington and Whitehaven prop, said: “Up here in Cumbria we’re in with a shout. I’m chuffed to be drawn at home.
“It will test us and show us how good we are. We’ll certainly be competitive.
“Hopefully, the tie will be played at the Recreation Ground (Whitehaven) in front of a big crowd so that we can make a bit of money for the club.”
Oldham captain Palfrey and his vice-captain Sam Gee are no strangers to the Recreation Ground or to Cumbrian rugby, both having played for Whitehaven in recent seasons.