Rochdale retain experienced centre Tom Ashton

Photo courtesy of Jackie Meredith

Rochdale have announced centre Tom Ashton has signed a new deal for the 2022 season.

The 29-year-old joined the club towards the end of the 2021 season from League One rivals Hunslet. He made five appearances for the club, scoring two tries against London Skolars and Coventry.

He had been with Hunslet since the 2018 season, and made just short of 50 appearances for the south Leeds side, scoring 18 tries.

Ashton has also represented Oldham and Sheffield in his career.

The centre started playing the sport for Leigh Miners. He has also played rugby union for Sale, Preston Grasshoppers and Scotland at Under-20s level.

Talking to the club website, Hornets chairman Andy Mazey said: “Tom is a big powerful centre with a wealth of experience and a player we actually paid a transfer fee to sign which is pretty rare in the modern game.

“He’s a great lad who has really bought into the club and vision and our supporters can be excited as he’s looking forward to a big pre-season and a strong 2022 in our shirt.”

Rochdale find out fixtures

The Hornets will start their 2022 League One campaign at home to North Wales, who finished third in 2021. Rochdale managed to claim a win in the same fixture last season, 38-28 at the Crown Oil Arena.

Their first match away from home sees them make the journey to West Wales a week later. Before then, their Challenge Cup journey will start in January.

Rochdale will be hoping to continue their growth in 2022. They finished seventh in 2021, just outside the playoff places.

The bookmakers have them at short odds to make a return to the Championship after their relegation back in 2019.

They have a mixture of youth and experience in their squad for 2022. From the likes of Rangi Chase to Connor Aspey and Gregg McNally to Rob Fairclough, their squad is continuing to take shape for next year.

Read More: League 1 ins and outs for 2022: Signings club-by-club

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