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Tomís out to be one on his own

Date published: 18 February 2014

TOM Whitehead has big shoes to fill as Oldham RL's No 1 in the fast-approaching Kingstone Press Championship One season.

In recent years, some of the Roughyeds' most exciting players have worn the No 1 shirt with pride.

Names roll off the tongue... Paul O'Connor, Ben Heaton, Miles Greenwood and, last season, Richard Lepori.

Following Lepori's departure for Australia, Whitehead and Steven Nield will be competing for the full-back berth.

They got half a game each in the first of the two pre-season games at Barrow, but Nield had nobody breathing down his neck in the next run-out against Swinton because Whitehead was out with an Achilles problem. Since then, 22 players have each been allocated squad numbers and jerseys.

Nield kept his No 4 shirt from 2013, while 22-year-old Whitehead – ex-Waterhead and Salford – was handed No 1, having had No 24 last year.

Prop Phil Joy also moved up, from 18 in his first season of senior rugby to No 8 this time as successor to Liam Gilchrist, now at Rochdale.

New signing Ben Wood, equally at home at centre or in the back row, was given No 3; a strong hint that he will probably be regarded more as a big, strong-running outside back than a forward.

As Neil Roden's replacement, Brett Robinson's No 7 was expected, while Robinson's fellow new recruits Danny Whitmore and Paddy Mooney were given No 17 and No 15 respectively.

The two young forwards on season-long loan from Salford, Alex Davidson and George Tyson, were also numbered – a recognised status symbol within the squad.

Shirts will be worn as follows: No 1, Whitehead; 2, Mo Agoro; 3, Wood, 4, Nield, 5, Dale Bloomfield; 6, Lewis Palfrey (capt); 7, Robinson; 8, Joy; 9, Sam Gee (vice-capt); 10, Jason Boults; 11, Josh Crowley; 12, Danny Langtree; 13, Mark Hobson; 14, Adam Files; 15, Mooney; 16, Kenny Hughes; 17, Whitmore; 18, Davidson; 19, Michael Ward; 20, Tyson; 21, David Cookson; 22, Liam Thompson.

 

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