Ward back on duty

Date published: Friday, April 5, 2013

MICHAEL Ward, Oldham’s young back-row man, will be back in a Roughyeds jersey tonight after being given a month off to study for maths exams.

The 22-year-old trainee teacher hasn’t played since coming off the bench in the 26-10 Northern Rail Cup win against Rochdale on March 10.
Explained coach Scott Naylor: “He asked for time off to catch up with his studies and for something like that I didn’t have a problem in granting it.
“Happily, he has sorted things out now. He was back in training this week and it was good to see him.”
Ward was unavailable for the last three games against Gateshead and South Wales in the Northern Rail Cup and against Rochdale last Friday in Kingstone Press Championship One.
He returns to duty in the under-20s side against Rochdale at Whitebank tonight (8pm kick off) along with loose-forward Liam Thompson, who plays his first game for the club after a shoulder operation.
Also on debut are Sam Wilson and Nial Bradley at centre, Sam Singleton at scrum-half and Danny Hurley among the replacements.
Team: Halsall; R Ward, Wilson, Bradley, Whitfield; Flanagan, Singleton; Rasool, Sargeant, Hall, Hargreaves, M Ward, Thompson. Subs: Hodges, Foreman, Hurley, Pickerstaff.
Naylor, meanwhile, has explained exactly where he stands on the dual registration issue.
In five cup and league games, he has used players from link club Salford City Reds only once, discounting hooker Adam Files, who is on season-long loan and has played in every game so far.
Said Naylor, who has a squad of only 22 players: “If and when I think it’s appropriate I will have no hesitation in bringing in dual reg men.
“A lot of people don’t like it, I know, but consider this: if Adam Files wasn’t on long-term loan he would be on dual reg every week and he was our best player on Good Friday.
“I’ve no problem with it. Over the course of the season there will definitely be times when it will benefit us, in which case I will use it.”