Niall Evalds joins Oldham on dual-registration


Exciting Salford youngster Niall Evalds is among four Reds players to join Oldham on dual-registration.

Roughyeds boss Scott Naylor will have new recruits Evalds, John Ford, Will Hope and Jordan Walne available for Sunday’s Northern Rail Cup opener against North Wales Crusaders.

All but Evalds played in the Salford under-20s side against Oldham at Whitebank three weeks ago, Ford and Hope scoring two of the visitors’ four tries in Oldham’s 34-22 win.

Ford, a tall, rangy centre and an academy international, is pushing for first-team recognition at Salford after winning his club’s under-19s player-of-the-year award in 2012.

Evalds, born in Halifax and a wing or full-back, was a Wigan Warriors scholar before he signed for Salford in 2009, aged 15. He has already made two try-scoring Super League appearances this season against Catalan Dragons and Leeds Rhinos.

Walne, a prop, was also at Wigan before joining Salford as a 16-year-old. He is now a full-time pro with the senior squad. 

Hope, a back-row forward, has had seven years with the Reds after signing as a 13-year-old. Currently captain of the under-20s.

Giving Oldham’s stance on the new dual reg regulations, Naylor said they were here to stay and most clubs were using them to their advantage.

He added: “Salford coach Phil Veivers will tell us each week who is available to us and then ‘Spanner’ (assistant coach Lee Spencer) and I will decide what we should do with Oldham’s best interests in mind.

“I was at Salford for 12 years and ‘Spanner’ was there for seven. We are both close to that club, so we are not taking on dual reg lads whom we don’t know from a club we know little about.

“We know the players and they know us. They also know a lot of the lads at Oldham. 

“This dual reg system will seem strange at first because its something new, but once people get used to it, it will become the norm.

“For the first couple of weeks it will seem odd to see boys coming in from another club to join our unit, which has been together for three months.

“It will work a lot more comfortably than some people might imagine, however, because of our close associations with Salford. It’s rather like having an extended squad.

“Our aim is to win promotion, and it’s in Salford’s interests for that to happen so that their dual reg lads next year will be playing at a higher level.

“They want to do all they can to help to us to achieve our goals. If there was anything detrimental to Oldham we wouldn’t touch it.

“Salford are keen to help us to achieve our goals and aspirations and that’s got to be good for our club.”


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