Team news

Date published: Friday, March 12, 2010

NEW signing Jamie I’Anson goes straight into a 20-man Oldham squad for tonight’s Championship 1 clash with Hunslet Hawks at the South Leeds Stadium (8.00pm kick off).
Coach Tony Benson is keeping his proposed line-up under wraps — so much so that he announced his provisional squad in alphabetical order — but he was happy enough with I’Anson’s fitness and mental preparation to include him in the 20 even though he hasn’t played for six months.

Ian Hodson, who also signed this week, will have to wait a little longer for his first-team call-up, but Benson expects both of them to make significant contributions as the season unfolds.

His squad tonight comprises the 17 who played last week, minus the suspended Mark Brocklehurst but with the addition of Scott Mansfield, Paul Reilly, Craig Littler and I’Anson, who was brought up in Leeds and lives not far from the Hunslet ground.

Oldham (from): Ashe, Bentley, Boults, Chandler, Ellison, Fogerty, Heaton, I’Anson, Kerr, Littler, Mansfield, O’Connor, Onyango, Reilly, Robinson, M Roden, N Roden, Saqib, St Hilaire, Whitmore.

“This will be a big test for us,” said the Oldham boss, “but we are in a positive frame of mind and we go there with confidence.”

The Hawks will give a debut to flying winger Waine Pryce, and player-coach Paul March said he had a fully-fit squad from which to select.
“We are behind schedule,” he added, “but we are moving in the right direction and Pryce will give us an extra cutting edge.”
Hunslet beat the Roughyeds 28-14 at the South Leeds Stadium in a Northern Rail Cup game last month and the sides will clash at the same venue for a third time in the fourth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup in April.

By that time both Hodson and I’Anson will be bedded in and will provide Benson with plenty of options in the selection of his pack.
He said: “We are already strong at prop where young Ben Mellor has come on faster than I expected. But you need experience in the front-row, and Jamie plays well above his years.
“He has good skills, quick feet and for power-per-pound he is up there with the best of them.
“Ian is very skilful. He tends to pull off the unexpected and I like that and encourage it. He is clever with ball in hand and he is extremely unpredictable.
“Both players will be very valuable additions to the squad.”