When you think of Rugby League’s iconic rivalries, Rochdale and Oldham is probably not the first that springs to mind.
But away from the spotlight, one of the most fiercely contested battles comes courtesy of the two Championship clubs, who will go head-to-head in the first of the six Championship games at the Summer Bash.
Scott Naylor has played his part in some of this country’s biggest rivalries during his playing days at Bradford, but the Roughyeds chief believes comparisons can be made.
“I don’t think it’s well publicised, but if both teams were in Super League it would be up there with Saints and Wigan and where Bradford and Leeds used to be, I think it’s that big.
“A lot of the lads know each other which adds to it, and the clubs have this rivalry, right from the top with the chairmen down to the players. It’s civilised off the field, but on it, I think it’s as big as anything in the game.”
Naylor also believes the game can have a major impact in how their season pans out.
“I think realistically if we can beat Rochdale are next game is Swinton,” he said.
“I expect both games will be very close but if we can get the points it put pressures on the teams below us and also puts us towards the clubs above us, so in that sense it is an important game for us on the table.”