Oldham move for Bridge

Oldham have signed former Bradford and Rochdale second-rower Danny Bridge.

Bridge, 24, has spent the past two seasons in Australia with Queensland Cup side Redcliffe Dolphins, but now returns to the UK with his hometown club,

He had a brief return at the start of 2017, making seven appearances for Rochdale while waiting for a visa to allow him to go back to Redcliffe.

Oldham coach Scott Naylor said: “When we heard Danny was back in the area and was looking for a club we moved quickly to pull off a brilliant signing.

“He will make us a lot stronger in the forwards and enable us to have options for every game. I’m looking forward to his start of pre-season training with us tonight (Tues).

“We saw how good he was when he played for Rochdale in 2015. Then he got fixed up in Australia and you don’t get taken on by a club like Redcliffe unless you can play a bit.

“He’s of the right age and he knows the game inside out and back again. The squad is coming together nicely, especially in the forwards. In that department I would say we are as strong as we’ve ever been.

“We lost a few backs at the end of 2017, but we’ve recruited well and we’re starting to look at a very useful squad. It will have the potential to be even better when we get our dual-reg arrangements finalised and I find it all very exciting.”

As the season draws nearer, you will be able to review Oldham’s League 1 chances with guts betting, as well as Super League and Championship odds.

Younger brother of the now retired former Bradford, Warrington, Widnes and England centre Chris, Bridge played his junior rugby for Royton and Waterhead, and initially came through the ranks at Wigan before moving to the Wolves academy.

Bridge said: “I loved playing for the Dolphins with the sun on my back and I wanted to stay in Queensland to be honest, but visa problems made that impossible. I arrived back in Oldham last month and initially I was planning to have a bit of time off and to start looking for another club after Christmas.

“I quickly found out though that I was missing the game a lot. Then I bumped into ‘Gaz’ Owen, a mate from years ago at Waterhead. He put me in touch with Oldham and it all moved forward from there.

“I’ve always enjoyed playing against Roughyeds, my home-town team, but I know I’ll enjoy it even more playing for them. I know it’s been said many times before but there is something special about playing for your town team. Also, I know ‘Gaz’ and a few of the other lads there and I don’t have to travel either, which is a bonus.

“After playing for two years in Queensland, I’ve got to get used to training again at the height of an Oldham winter. I can’t honestly say I’m looking forward to that — who would — but I’m certainly looking forward to the start of the season and to playing for my home town.”

The Ireland international is the fourth Oldhamer in the Roughyeds squad for 2018, alongside Gareth Owen, Phil Joy and Steven Nield.

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