What Naylor expects

Date published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

SCOTT Naylor expects to have a fully-fit squad from which to pick his Oldham RL team to defend the Law Cup against derby rivals Rochdale Hornets at Spotland on Sunday (3pm).

Hooker Sam Gee and two former Hornets players, winger Dale Bloomfield and centre or second-row Danny Samuel, picked up knocks in last Sunday’s 34-22 win against a young Salford City Reds side, but they are all expected to be cleared to play.

So too is utility back Richard Lepori, the 21-year-old former Salford and
Castleford winger or full-back, who missed the opportunity of making his debut on home soil after taking a knock in training.

Naylor won’t name his side until Saturday, but if Lepori gets the thumbs-up after a fitness check he will definitely be in contention.

Hornets will be without full-back and captain Wayne English and goalkicking stand-off Paul Crook, who both have other commitments, but coach Ian Talbot is ready to draft in players on dual registration from their Super League partner club St Helens.

Said Talbot: “I expect Saints to be asking us to take one or two of their fringe players to provide them with game time.

“I hope our fans will buy into what we are trying to do with this St Helens partnership.”

The Oldham RL Heritage Trust Trophy will be presented to Oldham’s stand-out player, while the Karl Marriott Trophy will go to the man of the match in memory of the former Hornets utility man, who died suddenly after a training session in October, 1998.

Ben Wood, who scored three tries in Oldham’s 34-28 win at Whitebank when the cup was last contested in 2011, is the current holder of the Heritage Trust Trophy.

Previous winners include Ian Watson, James Kirkland, Andy Isherwood, James Coyle and Gary Sykes.

Admission prices are £10 adults, £8 concessions and £3 for under-16s.

++ Roughyeds are trying to arrange a friendly next week for their new under-20s squad, who will play their first game in the Merit Table at Leigh on Saturday, March 2.

++ Hemel Stags and London Skolars have both forged partnerships with London Broncos, who have sent five young players to Skolars on dual registration.