Team news

Date published: Friday, February 11, 2011

HOOKER Danny Whitmore, prop Liam Gilchrist and half-back Matty Ashe are in line to step back into the Roughyeds’ limelight at Halifax on Sunday.

All three failed to make the cut when coach Tony Benson named the 17 who went on to beat Hunslet Hawks 28-22 in last Sunday’s Northern Rail Cup group game at Whitebank.

Ashe was on duty as 18th man (reserve), but there was no place for either Whitmore or Gilchrist as Benson picked the side which he felt was best suited to heavy conditions.

All that changes at The Shay against a Halifax side that is regarded by many of the sport’s pundits as the best team outside Super League.

Danny Whitmore

By beating Featherstone in last season’s Championship Grand Final at Warrington, Matt Calland’s men put plenty of meat on the bones of that assessment as well as doing their Super League bid a big favour.

“This will be a huge challenge for us,” said coach Benson. “It will be a totally different game to last week’s in that it will be fast and open on a good pitch.

“We are looking forward to the test and we are going into it with a lot of confidence.”

Young front-rower Tom Wood-Hulme, who scored two tries in the reserves’ 36-12 win against Dewsbury Rams last night, sits this one out after playing in all four senior games so far.

Ashe remains in contention; Gilchrist replaces Wood-Hulme; and Whitmore comes in as an addition as Benson goes with a squad of 19 and thus keeps his options open.

Oldham (from): Heaton, Onyango, Wood, Bradbury, Gillam, N Roden, Ashe, Diveney, Sutton, Boults, M Roden, Clough, Whitmore, Ellison, Gilchrist, Isherwood, Noone, Clarke, Bentley.

‘Fax boss Calland expects to have a full squad available with the possible exception of Neil Cherryholme, who is struggling with a groin injury.

In a surprise move, recently-retired Graham Holroyd (34) has gone back to his hometown club where he will adopt a role involving both playing and coaching.

Winger Rob Worrincy, meanwhile, has indicated just how strong the ‘Fax squad is by revealing that he feels under pressure to keep his place in the side.

“That’s my biggest worry,” said the 24-year-old speedster. “James Haley is playing well, Paul White is back on form and Lee Paterson is always an option for the wing.

“I just need to concentrate on making sure I’m in the team every week.”

Calland’s men struggled to win 28-22 at Swinton last time out, but Worrincy expects a better performance at The Shay.

“We were a bit rusty at Swinton,” he added, “but we want to make sure it is a bit more comfortable against Oldham, although we will have to play a lot better.”