CASTLEFORD Tigers have done Oldham a big Challenge Cup favour by allowing Keiran Gill to play for them against Haydock in Saturday’s fourth-round tie at Bower Fold (1pm kick-off).
Neither his Tigers team mate Tuoyo Egodo nor the Salford Red Devils prop Liam Bent, who are on loan at Oldham, will be eligible.
Gill, also on loan, needed special dispensation from Cas because selection for Roughyeds this weekend will mean the 21-year-old outside back will be cup-tied and unable to play in subsequent rounds for his full-time employers.
Huddersfield Giants didn’t allow their dual-reg youngsters to play for Scott Naylor’s men in any of their three Challenge Cup ties last year against Kells, Hull KR and Warrington Wolves.
Gill didn’t arrive at Oldham until later in the season, but it’s rare for parent clubs to allow loan or dual-reg players to be cup-tied.
The deal with Salford Red Devils which brought Jordan Walne and 19-year-old Bent to Oldham on loan last week excluded cup-tie appearances even though they were coming for only a month.
The green light for Gill was a direct result of talks between Oldham chairman Chris Hamilton and Cas chief executive Steve Gill.
Said the Roughyeds chairman: “I have a good relationship with Steve Gill, so I put the question to him. They didn’t want Tuoyo (Egodo) to play on Saturday, but they understood our situation and they had no problem with ‘Gilly’ turning out.
“We owe a big thank-you to Daryl Powell (head coach), Steve Gill and the Cas club.”
The fitness of Scott Turner (knee), Sammy Gee (ankle) and Liam Thompson (dead leg) will be assessed at training tonight.
Haydock, whose cup exploits have caught the public’s imagination, are 2016 North-West Men’s League champions, a title which earned them qualification for entry in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
They are ten games unbeaten in all competitions, stretching back to last season, and they’ve opened up their bid to keep hold of their NWML title with two wins from two – 40-14 at Haresfinch and 38-16 at home to Shevington Sharks.
The word from up the East Lancs Road is that they fancy their chances and they’ll be backed by good support, having had 400 fans for their second round home tie against Thornhill Trojans , 200 of whom followed them to London for round three.
The tie, to be streamed live on the BBC website, will get the big-game build-up by the RFL.
The Challenge Cup will be on display and fans can be photographed with it for a donation of £2 to the Oldham RLFC Community Trust.
Two supporters will be selected at random to take part in the £5,000 Ladbrokes Challenge at half-time.
A few hospitality places are still available. Ring the club on 07904 898177.