Tough choices for Naylor ahead of London Skolars clash
Friday 15th June 2018 10:51 Sports Posted by Mark Phillip

Oldham boss Scott Naylor has spoken of the tough decisions he faces in picking a 17 to play London Skolars at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday (3pm).

Of his 25-man squad — no dual reg this week — only prop Adam Neal and hooker Kenny Hughes are on the injured list.

“I’ve some big calls to make, but I don’t mind making them. I can only play 17 and I make the big decisions for the right reasons,” said Naylor.

Before he even starts on the forwards, he’s got Luke Hooley or Kyran Johnson for full-back; Dave Eccleston, Lee Kershaw and Ben West for two wing spots; and Jack Holmes, Zack McComb and Matt Reid for the centres.

He has even more options in the pack where Phil Joy, two-try Craig Briscoe and Danny Langtree flew the flag last week, Langtree playing much of the game at loose-forward.

He’s also got to consider the claims of forwards such as Jack Spencer, Ben Davies, Luke Nelmes, Adam Jones, Danny Rasool, Liam Bent and Danny Bridge, arguably one of the form forwards of the season so far.

Said Scott: “Kyran (Johnson) was one of our best players last week, while ‘Langers’ (Langtree) played most of the game at loose forward and looked good.

“Phil Joy looks a lot fitter, and more like his old self, after losing a bit of weight.

“Jack Spencer is fit again and Adam Jones didn’t get a game either last week.

“I’ve three centres for two spots and three wingers for two spots so I’ve a few selection headaches to come over the next few days.”

Naylor, meanwhile, has warned his Roughyeds players that Skolars will provide more formidable opposition than their league position suggests.

They lie fourth bottom ahead of the only teams they’ve beaten in the league so far — Hemel, Coventry and West Wales Raiders.

Their only other point was picked up in a draw with North Wales Crusaders, but they’ve frightened a few teams in recent weeks, most notably Keighley and Hunslet.

Keighley beat them 26-18 and Hunslet won 37-30 after trailing 18-0 at one stage.

They’re averaging 25 points a game compared with Oldham’s 35.

Scott went on: “They can score points all right, that’s for sure. We’ve been defending pretty well, but there’s always room for improvement and we have to get even better.

“You can get very different challenges in this division and this one will be different to most of the others we’ve had in recent weeks.

“We’ll need to play like we did against Doncaster.”

By Roger Halstead

Picture: Adam Neal is on the injured list