U18s Update

Date published: Wednesday, June 22, 2011

FANS watching Oldham RL Club’s new under-18s team  for the first time at  Whitebank on Saturday (2.30pm) will see the Breheny boys in double vision.

Look-alike twins Jack and Ben Breheny, a pair of 17-year-old forwards from Wigan, have already got coach Phil Costin in a quandary because he doesn’t know whether he is talking to prop Jack or second-rower Ben.

“I haven’t a clue,” he said. “They’re the proverbial peas in a pod. It’s just a 50-50 chance that I’ve got the right guy.”

To complete a story of  family affairs, cousin Tom Breheny will play at centre in the Roughyeds’ scholarship team’s first-ever game against Workington Town, while another set of brothers, Nathan and Connell Bevan, will figure at right-wing and scrum-half respectively.

But all eyes will be on the twins — the third set to play for Oldham RLFC (1997) Ltd following David and Anthony Gibbons and Phil and Chris Farrell in the club’s early days.

“We are not classed as identical,” said Jack, “but outside the family few can tell us apart. We’ve always played together in various rugby teams and it tends to confuse the opposition a little bit.

“I’m the elder by seven minutes but I wouldn’t say I was the boss . . . it’s Ben who has the gift of the gab!

“Like all the Oldham boys, we are really looking forward to this first game. Roughyeds have provided us with a great scholarship programme over the past few months and the environment has been spot-on.

“We would love to progress in the sport but for now we are just concentrating on doing our best for Oldham and taking it from there.”

They are currently on exams at St John Rigby College in Wigan and they will face a tough examination of a different kind when they run out at Whitebank on Saturday on another historic day for the progressive Roughyeds.

Reared on rugby at Wigan St Jude’s from the age of eight, they graduated to scholarship status at Super League Club Salford City Reds and they are now in a squad of about 22 under-18s at Oldham, all of them from similar backgrounds.

They come, in the main, from Wigan and Widnes on this side of the Pennines and from Huddersfield and Bradford on the other side.

Added coach Costin: “We train twice a week and most of the lads are doing a 70-mile round trip or more each time. They’ve made a massive commitment and now they can’t wait to get stuck into their first game.

“There are some very talented boys among them and we are hoping Roughyeds fans will turn up in numbers at Whitebank on Saturday to see how enthusiastic these boys are and to look at the work being done at the club on its youth policy.”

Oldham’s young guns will line up like this:

Danny Peet; Nathan Bevan, Tom Breheny, Nick Ryan, Chris Jarvis; Tom Shaw, Connell Bevan; Jack Breheny, Aaron Morris, Grant Hudson, Ben Breheny, Josh Hulme, Craig Lawton. Subs (from): Jordan Morris, Adam White, Jake Evans, Mark Eastup, Curtis Strong, Matt Speight.

Admission is £4 adults and £2 concessions. The bar in the club will be open from 1pm and refreshments will be available inside the ground before and during the game.