Young Giant hoping for double celebration

Oldham Rugby League Club's latest on-loan capture, Louis Senior from Huddersfield Giants, is among the 21 players from whom Matt Diskin will name his 17 to play Widnes Vikings in the Betfred Championship at Bower Fold on Sunday.

An outside back, and likely to play centre, Senior will be making his Oldham debut on his 21st birthday -- a coincidence he will remember all his life.

"It's a milestone I won't forget and come Sunday night I'm hoping for a double celebration," said Senior, who has more than 20 Super League appearances on his Giants CV.

Also in the 21 are stand-off Lewis Charnock, who has missed the last few games through injury, and prop Phil Joy, who has still to play his first competitive game this year after being injured in a pre-season game at Featherstone.

Making way for Senior, Charnock and Joy in the 21 are suspended on-loan full-back Tom Nisbet, who was sent off at York for a high tackle, Callum Green and Joe Hartley.

Hooker and club captain Gareth Owen was in last week's 21, ahead of the York game, but he didn't play because of a chest infection. He's still in the squad, but so are the two hookers who played last time out, Dec Gregory and Jamie Abram.

Of the 17 who played well at York, despite a 34-6 defeat, the only player not in the 21 is the suspended Nisbet.

Squad: D Abram, J Abram, Bent, Bridge, Brierley, Charnock, Dupree, Fletcher, Gregory, Hewitt, Hutchings, Ince, Joy, Kirk, Langtree, Nelmes, Owen, Pick, Reilly, Roberts, Senior.

Vikings: Owens, Hatton, Spedding, Tyrer, Cross, Craven, Smith, Clough, Cook, Grady, Lawton, Baker, Dwyer, Farnworth, Lyons, Roby, Edge, Buckley, Else, Tilleke, O'Neill.

Head coach Matt Diskin wasn't at York because of Covid precautions, but he watched the game on Our League and was hugely encouraged by the performance.

He will give Owen and Charnock as long as possible to prove their fitness.

"Widnes's early-season results didn't go their way," he said. "but in no way do they reflect the amount of ability and quality they have in their squad. You've only to look at so many of their names to realise that.

"We'll have to start well, go set-to-set with them and play like we did in the first half at York. If we do that, we'll give ourselves a good chance to win the game."

It will be the first time in 15 months that Oldham have played in front of their own fans -- and the players can't wait.

Said club captain Owen: "Believe me, they make a terrific difference. We always knew that, but the pandemic has proved it. I'm excited at the prospect of seeing and hearing them again and I know that goes for all the lads. They can't wait."

Match tickets are on sale ONLINE ONLY -- no cash taken at turnstiles -- and as they are available to both home and away fans on a first come. first served basis the club strongly recommends local fans to buy as quickly as possible.

For fans who can't get to Bower Fold, the game will be streamed live on Our League --- free to Oldham season-ticket holders and only £4.95 for anyone else if bought before midnight Saturday.

Supporters can still organise it on Sunday, but the price then goes up to £10.

 

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