Oldham swoop for Widnes Vikings forward as Ireland international signs new deal with Roughyeds

Drew Darbyshire
Widnes Vikings forward Owen Farnworth makes a tackle against West Wales Raiders Alamy

Widnes Vikings forward Owen Farnworth makes a tackle in a Challenge Cup match against West Wales Raiders in 2021 - Alamy

League 1 side Oldham have confirmed the signing of former England Academy international Owen Farnworth on a two-year deal from Championship club Widnes Vikings.

The 23-year-old forward came through the ranks at Widnes, making 81 appearances since making his first team debut back in 2017.

Farnworth follows his Widnes team-mate Danny Craven to Oldham – both penning two-year contracts ahead of the 2024 campaign.

On joining Oldham, Farnworth said: “I have been at Widnes for 10 years and given my all for the club and I wanted a fresh start.

“When I heard Oldham were interested in me, I was excited to sign after hearing the plans and where the club wants to go.

“With the lads that we’ve already brought in, I don’t think we can go far wrong next season.

“In terms of what I bring, I’m a strong runner who is also able to lead the pack in defence and just somebody who shows up week in, week out.”

Farnworth, who represented England Academy on their tour of Australia in 2016, becomes the 17th player to commit to Oldham for 2024.

The Roughyeds have made an impressive recruitment drive ahead of 2024, bringing the likes of Joe Wardle, Jordan Turner, Jack Johnson and Jay Chapelhow to Boundary Park.

Ireland international commits to Oldham with contract extension

Pat Moran Ireland Alamy Pat Moran in training with Ireland ahead of last year’s World Cup – Alamy

Oldham have also tied down Ireland international prop Pat Moran to a new two-year deal.

The 25-year-old, who came through the ranks at Warrington Wolves, made 15 appearances for Oldham in 2023.

On his new deal, Moran said: “With the signings we’re making and if we attack the season well, we can go all the way.

“Last year went really well for me individually and, as a team, we wanted to go a bit further than we did but that’s rugby for you.

“Since signing, everybody has made me feel welcome, I’ve really enjoyed it at Oldham and I feel settled here. I’ve been playing some good rugby again, too.”

In addition, Oldham have confirmed that Matty Wilkinson, Zac Baker and Callum Cameron will depart Boundary Park.

Rougheyds managing director Mike Ford said Baker had been offered a new contract – but the hooker then received an offer to move to London in his day job outside of rugby.

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