Pick to bolster pack?

Date published: 13 March 2021

New signing Shaun Pick, the former Featherstone, Toronto Wolfpack, Sheffield Eagles and Batley forward, may make his Oldham debut in today's (Saturday) behind-closed-doors friendly against Halifax Panthers at Bower Fold, kick-off 4pm.

He missed the loss at Featherstone in the first of two pre-season games because of a calf injury, but he is said to have a chance of proving his fitness in time for weekend.

Jack Spencer could also be back for his first game in 12 months, but fellow-prop Tyler Dupree will probably be kept back for the Barrow Raiders cup-tie, having gone over on an ankle at Featherstone.

Centre Ben Heaton, who took a head knock last week, won't play in this one because he will be following the RFL's concussion protocol.

Centre Cam Leeming, currently out with hamstring trouble, is itching to get back, but coach Matt Diskin won't risk him in a friendly and says he needs "two or three weeks of full training" before he can be in the frame.

Of the six who missed the big defeat at Featherstone, only Pick and Spencer are likely to return this weekend and there will be checks later in the week on Phil Joy, who has a thigh injury, and others who played at the Millennium Stadium and picked up bumps and bruises.

Said coach Matt Diskin: "One or two picked up knocks and pulls last week, which is what you would expect from the first game back after a year out ."

Speaking for the first time about the 58-10 defeat at Featherstone, he said: "It was a disappointing result, but Featherstone are a great side and we have to take that into account.

'It would be easy to get downhearted, but I saw a few things which, with a bit of hard work and fine tuning, could make a real big difference."

Like Oldham, Halifax will also parade several new signings, including French prop Gadwin Springer, centre Greg Worthington from Toronto Wolfpack and, most interestingly, centre Zack McComb, who has arrived at his home-town club after a year at Sheffield following his impressive spell at Oldham, where he was a fans' favourite.

McComb was a key cog in Oldham's 2019 promotion wheel and it will be a big moment in his career when he lines up against the club which gave him his big chance to break into the semi-pro game for the second time.

Also at The Shay now is new head physio Chris Melling, who was at Roughyeds for a short spell early last year.,

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