Skipper hopes to be back

Date published: Thursday, February 13, 2014
LEWIS Palfrey, Oldham RL captain, is hoping to play his first game of the year in Saturday’s run-out against a Leigh Centurions squad at Whitebank (2.30pm kick off).
A lower-back muscle injury kept the half-back out of the 16-6 loss at Barrow and the 24-18 home win against Swinton, but he is expected to lead out his side in the third and final game of the pre-season programme.
“With the exception of Phil Joy and maybe George Tyson, I expect to have a full squad available,” said coach Scott Naylor.
“It will be the last chance for everybody to push for a place in the side to go to South Wales in the opening league game on March 2.”
Joy, whose sterling performances at prop-forward earned him the 2013 player-of-the-year award, is still undergoing rehab on a troublesome groin injury.
New-boy Tyson (20), a forward who is said to be comfortable at prop, second-row or loose, has arrived on a season-long loan from Salford Red Devils with a slight hip injury.
“I’m not sure whether to play him against Leigh or to concentrate on getting him ready for the league campaign,” added the Roughyeds’ boss, who will talk to the player and the club’s medical team before making up his mind.
Full-back Tom Whitehead (achilles tendon) and former London Broncos youngster Paddy Mooney, who took a bang to the head on debut at Barrow, were ruled out of the Swinton game.
Naylor believes both could be fit for Saturday, but he will know more after both players have been monitored at training tonight.
Leigh start their Championship campaign at home to Batley Bulldogs on Sunday, but they will still bring a strong squad to Whitebank.
It will comprise of senior players who are not on duty the next day, plus the best of their under-20s players, an age group in which they have always had quality plus strength in depth.
* NEIL Roden’s second testimonial event will be a Race Night on Friday, March 7 in his home town of Wigan.
It will be held in the Legends Bar at Body Image Fitness Centre, Unit 1, Swan Lane, Hindley, Wigan WN2 4HD.
Entry costs £5 and anyone wishing to sponsor a horse can do so for £5.