SCOTT Naylor has given a broad hint that he will make changes in the side to play North Wales Crusaders in Wrexham on Sunday (2.30pm kick-off) – the second of three games in ten days for Roughyeds.
Final decisions on forwards Phil Joy and Adam Jones, who have been out with head injuries, will be made on Saturday.
Of the 24-man squad only Ben Davies is definitely unavailable through injury, so the Roughyeds team boss will have plenty of room for manoeuvre within his own group while also having dual-reg options from partner club Salford Cty Reds.
Among those who didn’t play in Tuesday’s inspirational 27-6 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup win at Halifax were Kyran Johnson, Jack Holmes and Steven Nield in the backs and Joy, Gareth Owen and Jones in the forwards.
Said Naylor: “We’ve a lot of rugby right now with only five-day turn-arounds so it’s good that I can run fresh legs and give other lads more game time.
“We’re still waiting for Phil Joy and Adam Jones, but whatever happens we’ll be going with a strong team and we’ll show Crusaders exactly the same respect that we showed Halifax on Tuesday.
“We have history with Crusaders going back to the last time we were in League 1. They were the team to beat back then and I remember clearly when they were the best team in the division.
“They’ve also got a couple of ex-Oldham men in Steve Roper and Dale Bloomfield and we’d expect them to be motivated by the occasion.”
Interestingly, Roper and Paul Crook were the Whitehaven halves last season and together they helped to steer the Cumbrians to a promotion final in which they lost narrowly at Barrow.
Before that they had played alongside each other at Rochdale so there will be plenty of familiarity among the opposing half-backs on Sunday.
For the record Craig Briscoe is on the threshold of his 100th career appearance, having played 52 games for Leigh, 39 for Barrow and eight for Oldham.
Danny Langtree and Ben West, who has made an eye-catching start to his pro career, have scored tries in each of Roughyeds’ last three games.
‘Langers’ has scored four in all (2-1-1), while left-wing West has chipped in with one try apiece in the three games against York City Knights in League 1 and against Featherstone Lions and Halifax in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
Fans should note that Crusaders have moved from the Racecourse, where they played when Oldham last went to Wrexham, and they now play at the Queensway Stadium, Queensway, Wrexham LL13 8UH. Kick-off time is 2.30pm.