Time to shine

Date published: Friday, June 24, 2011

DANNY Bravo will make his Oldham RL debut when Roughyeds go to Gateshead on Sunday (3pm), seeking to pull off their first away win of the season and consolidate their place in the play-off six.

The 20-year-old Leeds Rhinos forward, at Oldham initially on a month’s loan, is included in a party of 19 to travel to Tyneside, alongside his fellow Rhinos youngster Callum Casey.

Casey (21) scored two tries on debut for the reserves in the defeat of Sheffield Eagles last Saturday (they won again at York last night, 39-22), but Bravo is still waiting to don an Oldham jersey for the first time.

“This is an opportunity for me to look at the Leeds boys in Championship One competition before we finalise the squad to push ahead into the business end of the season,” said coach Tony Benson.

Huddersfield-born Bravo, a six-foot 13st3lbs second-row who can also play prop, looks certain to get his big chance in the back-row rather than the front three where propping duties will be shared by Jason Boults, Dave Ellison, Luke Sutton and Luke Stenchion.

It was planned for another new boy, Bruce Johnson, to move up to the senior side at prop after three storming games in the reserves, but it has now emerged that he damaged a finger in last Saturday’s big win against Sheffield.

This is the club’s latest injury setback in ongoing bad luck, Johnson having been referred to a fracture clinic amid fears that he might also have damaged the ligaments in the joint.

Liam Gilchrist, another prop, has left for Australia with the Great Britain Students’ party and as a consequence will not be available to play for Roughyeds for several weeks.

On a brighter note teenage threequarter Matthew Fogarty is back in the squad after injury; winger John Gillam came through last night’s reserve game unscathed as he continued his fight for full fitness after a foot injury; and young prop Tom Wood-Hulme (broken hand) is said to be almost ready to play in the reserves after being sidelined for most of the season.

Benson will pick from this squad when he ties up all the loose ends at training tomorrow:

Boults, Bravo, Brocklehurst, Casey, Clough, Dallimore, Ellison, Fogarty, Forber, Heaton, Isherwood, McCully, Noone, Robinson, M Roden, N Roden, Stenchion, Sutton, Ward.

Gateshead’s last win against pro opposition was in March, 2010, but they gave Doncaster a run for their money last week and they are hoping to sign two dual-registered players from a Super League club in time for them to play on Sunday.

Oldham’s third team, the scholarship under-18s, play their first ever game against Workington Town at Whitebank tomorrow (Sat), kicking off at 2.30pm. Admission is £4 adults, £2 concessions.