Betfred Championship News Round-up

Oldham have announced a final pre-season game against St Helens, to be played at the Vestacare Stadium on Saturday January 18, kicking off 7.30pm.

Chairman Chris Hamilton said: “Saints approached us to play a match to give their first-team squad players a game, as they have only one pre-season friendly this year which is being treated as a full-blown workout.

“Some of the players who will feature against us will be well-known to fans of the game and it will be a very tough test for us against mainly full-time players.

“It is exactly what we need, ahead of a challenging season, and it means we won’t now have a three-week gap before the first league game against Widnes on February 2.”


DEWSBURY RAMS’ new signing Jason Walton has had a minor setback in his recovery from a knee reconstruction, but coach Lee Greenwood has confirmed it is not a recurrence of his old issue.

Greenwood explained: “He’d got back to starting to do a bit of running and his knee flared up a bit.

“He’s going in for a minor cartilage operation, which he should be getting soon, and it’ll be a month after that.

“It’s nothing to worry about and not a recurrence of his ACL, and he’s been doing everything with his upper body since well before Christmas.”

Chris Annakin (groin surgery) and Joe Martin (ankle) were both hoping to be fit for Sunday’s pre-season game at Keighley.


WIDNES VIKINGS are talking to the cluster of triallists they have at the club about permanent deals for 2020.

Coach Tim Sheens has been impressed by what he’s seen in the likes of Connor Williams, Jordan Case, Lewis Hulme and Callum Wood, although no agreements have yet been reached.

Sheens explained: “We’re not talking specifics at the moment but we’ve started the process with the players and their agents and we are starting to put together offers.

“Some of them will be playing part of the game against North Wales and we’ve got some bodies-in-front matches sorted with other clubs that they’ll get a chance in”


SWINTON LIONS coach Stuart Littler was happy with the way debutants Louis Brogan and Deane Meadows dealt with their first experience of the professional game against Salford last week.

Forward Brogan joined from Leigh Miners Rangers, while utility back Meadows stepped up from Shevington Sharks.

Littler said: “It was really good for them to get a game under their belts.

“Both lads were buzzing that they’ve challenged themselves at that level; now in the next few weeks we will narrow down who will play in the first game against Whitehaven.”


FEATHERSTONE ROVERS trio Brett Ferres, Craig Hall and Paul March put their time in Spain to good use last week ahead of the club’s clash with Valencia Huracanes.

The first-team duo and assistant coach held a schools coaching session in the region on Thursday.

They then took charge of training at Huracanes to pass on their expertise to the ambitious Spanish club.

Featherstone streamed the game live to supporters at the LD Nutrition Stadium on Saturday afternoon as their fans were able to watch them secure an easy 102-14 victory at the Estadio de Rugby in the Huracanes’ first ever game.

Rovers had hat-tricks from Jake Sweeting, Sam Ottewell, Gareth Gale and Ben Blackmore, while Louis Jouffret scored two tries, and Nathan Wright, Brandon French, Dean Parata, Luke Cooper and Jack Richardson also touched down.

The Huracanes scored their first ever try when Connor Aspey, who was loaned to the club from Salford Red Devils for the fixture, touched down his own kick.

Miguel Tomas Enriqe became the first domestic player to score for the newly formed club in the opening moments of the second half, which was greeted with cheers from both sets of fans.


TOULOUSE OLYMPIQUE are again set to benefit from a dual-registration link-up with Catalans Dragons this season.

Dragons’ owner Bernard Guasch and coach Steve McNamara confirmed the move at a joint press conference to promote the pre-season game between the clubs last week.

The link has previously seen Catalans duo Paul Séguier and Arthur Romano spend time with Toulouse.

The two clubs also had an opposed training session against each other last week.


HALIFAX forward Ben Kavanagh expects to hear the full extent of his dislocated hip injury this week.

The former Widnes player was taken to hospital after sustaining the injury in Fax’s pre-season clash with Hull FC last week.

He had his hip pushed back in under general anaesthetic and stayed for a number of nights before being discharged.

The club will now compile a rehab plan for Kavanagh once the exact details of the injury are determined.