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John Drake

Oxford RLFC news thread

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Oxford recruitment drive continues

Oxford are delighted to announce the signing of 21 year old Hooker George Stevens.

Stevens who can also play Loose forward has previously played for the West London Sharks, Hemel Stags and St Albans Centurions. He also represented the London and the south from under 12 through to under 18 and the Harlequins foundation.

"George stood out in the trials, is good with ball in hand, he is excellent at building momentum and getting the team going in the forwards and defended very well," said coach Tony Benson.

George said of his move to the club, "I’m really glad to have joined, and to be have been selected from the players who all trialled, because in the games that I played in there was some real quality.

"I am looking forward to the season and I can’t wait to test myself on the next stage up from what I was playing last season and see how we can get on.

"My aims are to first of all get into the starting thirteen as soon as I can. When I’ve done that I want to be able to hold my position, and improve on a weekly basis."

Oxford swoop for Hornet

Oxford have completed the signing of 23 year old Full back Jonny Leather from Rochdale Hornets where he made 16 appearances last season scoring 16 tries in the process. Leather has also played for Widnes Vikings and Blackpool in his playing career so far.

Tony Benson was delighted at completing the signing of Leather "Whenever he has been in the opposition for the teams that I have coached in the past he has ripped us up. He is normally top of the try scoring charts and has a lot of experience considering he is still very young. Jonny can also jump into the halves if needed and he will be a fantastic addition to the team."

Jonny was equally pleased to have joined, "I'm looking forward to being part of history in our debut season in Championship One, we have some fantastic talent at the club and I believe we will surprise a few teams this season and can make the play offs."

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Looking like they'll be by far the strongest new side on the field. Maybe midtable?

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They must be well funded because a while back some of the established players at C1 clubs were starting to be approached by Oxford and were amazed at the amounts being offered in comparison to say Oldham or Rochdale's offers.

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I too am amazed at the number of quality players they seem to be taking on. Mid table at worst I think. Have a tidy website and stadium etc. I think they could go well, brilliant given that to some their inclusion was a shock.

Gloucestershire still worry me greatly. No website of their own, no news on tickets or merchandise. How is their squad coming along, not heard too much. Will it be pretty much their studnt team + a couple of outsdiers? If so, could be sme record defeats on the table.

Somebody from the club needs to start making some noises soon if they are expecting to drum up any interest at all.

Living in Bristol I was hoping to get to a fair few Gloucestershire games next season but think the slightly longer trip to Oxford is looking much more appealing. Have any of the new clubs set any taregts for expected attendances etc?

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I'm not sure where Hemel will get a Championship 1 standard side from either. At least they're very well run in other respects.

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I'm not sure where Hemel will get a Championship 1 standard side from either. At least they're very well run in other respects.

But there have at least been noises from Hemel, which there hasn't from Gloucestershire, will start a separate thread on that.

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I'm not sure where Hemel will get a Championship 1 standard side from either. At least they're very well run in other respects.

They're total sell outs now.

I mean, they are putting a proper path down around the pitch.

It'll be lattes in the club house next.

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Oxford appear to have a strong board and administration so hopefully they'll surprise a few people.

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Indeed. On paper, they would seem to be a good addition to the league. Hope all goes well for them.

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Boooo! Hisss!

George is a good lad and will be missed at St Albans, but his transfer fee should go some way towards building our new clubhouse. ;)

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Strange that Oxford can't get a team out for the Northern Rail Cup?

Any truth that their training base is in Wigan?

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I'm not sure where Hemel will get a Championship 1 standard side from either. At least they're very well run in other respects.

I'm sure Troy will have contacts.

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Oxford were allowed to opt out of the Northern Rail Cup because they were put into the pro ranks later than the other clubs.

That evened out the group numbers, but it also means they can spread their playing budget over fewer games than the others, which might partly explain how they can offer better wages than the likes of Rochdale or Oldham.

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Good luck Oxford. I worked there for eight months as a teenager. Great town.

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George is a good lad and will be missed at St Albans, but his transfer fee should go some way towards building our new clubhouse. ;)

There was a transfer fee? In that case, good riddance to him! :)

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Oxford swoop for ex Skolar

Oxford are delighted to announce the signing of former London Skolars player Glenn Osborn.

"I coached him at Skolars previously, he is not the biggest prop in the game but has excellent feet and defends strongly," said coach Tony Benson. "He can also play as a back rower if needed as he has a strong pass."

Glenn is delighted at securing the move. "It is exciting times at the club. I spoke with Tony when I heard the club was being created and I wanted to be a part of it.

"When we trained together on 6th January there was a real buzz around the place. We have high calibre players here and we should be aiming for the play-offs this season."

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There was a transfer fee? In that case, good riddance to him! :)

Tut tut. Rugby fans really are,fickle... :D

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Tut tut. Rugby fans really are,fickle... :D

:D

He's a good bloke, best of luck to him

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Oxford Swoop for RAF trio

Oxford's recruitment today continued with the signing of backrower Alan Blewitt, He has played for the Combined Services at both Rugby League and Rugby Union, and has represented the GB Armed Forces at the last World Cup in 2008 and will also be representing them again in this year's tournament which is due to be held in the UK. Alan has also represented Henley and Chinnor Rugby Union Clubs.

"He is a big back row forward who stood out in the trials, he's very strong defensively, experienced and just loves playing rugby league," announced a delighted Tony Benson

We are also delighted to announce Ozzy Hicks and Phil Cavanagh will be joining the club's backroom staff.

Hicks will be coming on board as a sports and remedial massage therapist and said on joining Oxford "After many years playing Rugby League for the RAF, Combined Services and Oxford Cavaliers, this is a fantastic opportunity for me to put something back into Rugby League especially in the great City of Oxford. I am sure there will be a few doubters but with the professionalism and enthusiasm of the set-up I am now involved with, I am certain we will surprise many people."

Cavanagh will be the club's new kit manager and said "Having been based at RAF Benson for the past 18 months with very little Rugby league in the area I was really excited to hear about a new team starting up in Oxford. A couple of my friends told me about it and said there would be an open trial for player recruitment, as head coach of RAF Benson, that got me excited as it was a chance for some of my players to show what they could do. I was then told the club were looking for a Kit Manager and would I be interested in this post. I had a few chats with the Head Coach, Tony Benson, and accepted the offer straight away."

"It is a very exciting time now being involved with Oxford RL from its very start and I look forward to helping the club grow and establishing Rugby League in the South. I never thought I’d be involved with Rugby League at this level so I am very grateful to Tony and everybody else at Oxford RL for giving me the opportunity."

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Oxford sign for Clarke

Oxford are delighted to announce the signing of 23 year old back row forward Chris Clarke who joins the club from Oldham Roughyeds. Clarke who can also play prop and loose forward has been with Oldham since he was a 17 year old rookie where he came through the club's youth system. He made his professional debut against Leigh in 2009 and has captained Lancashire in the past.

"He is a big strong aggressive player, and will get us going around the field as he makes good runs, he is the type of player who you would want to go to war with and the sort of forward the opposition are glad to see the back of him," smiled Tony Benson

Chris was delighted at joining Oxford. "I am thrilled to be here and to be a part of history. I am looking forward to the challenge ahead and putting Oxford on the map."

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Seems to be a very strong Oldham connection at Oxford. Not sure if that is a good thing or not. Looking forward to seeing how they go this year

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Seems to be a very strong Oldham connection at Oxford. Not sure if that is a good thing or not. Looking forward to seeing how they go this year

Are the players training in Oldham (or nearby) and travelling down to Oxford for games?

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Seems to be a very strong Oldham connection at Oxford. Not sure if that is a good thing or not. Looking forward to seeing how they go this year

The coach has basically taken a bunch of them from Oldham to Oxford with him according to an interview League Express this week. He is coaching the squad in two halves on a Tuesday (Oldham based players and Oxford based players) and together on another night of the week, down in Oxford.

I think Oldham was struggling enough as it was without their squad being raided.

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Maybe so but it's no more than fair competition for players. I imagine that Oldham signed players from community clubs without losing too much sleep over "raiding squads".

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