Three former internationals feature for amateur clubs in Challenge Cup 

Josh McAllister
Joe Taira SWpix Oldham 2023 squad numbers Challenge Cup

Photo: Paul Currie/SWpix

A handful of former international players have featured for their amateur clubs in the second round of the Challenge Cup.

Most notably, former Wales hooker Sean Penkywicz featured for Rochdale Mayfield in their win over Cornwall.

The National Conference League Premier Division side claimed a 20-14 victory in Cornwall, with a crowd of 1,061.

Penkywicz, 40, retired from the professional game last August while with Rochdale. He was the captain of the Hornets, having joined the club in 2020 from Workington Town.

The Leigh-born player started his career in Halifax, and other previous clubs include Huddersfield, Leigh and Toronto with more than 400 professional appearances in the game.

He won four caps for Wales.

Also featuring for Rochdale Mayfield, Fiji international Joe Taira was introduced from the bench. 

Taira, 33, represented Fiji in their World Cup warm-up match against England last autumn. He had signed a one-year deal with Oldham from Rochdale Hornets for 2023, but was left the club ahead of the League 1 season.  

Ireland international Dec O’Donnell featured from the bench for Ashton Bears in their tie against League 1’s Dewsbury Rams. The North West Mens Premier Division side fell to a 38-8 defeat at the Flair Stadium.

O’Donnell, 24, has made four appearances for Ireland on the international stage. He has previously also played for Leigh, Workington and Oldham.

Also playing for Ashton Bears was former Leigh, Swinton and Whitehaven forward Andy Thornley. He was named at starting back-row in their Challenge Cup tie. 

READ NEXT: England find out opponents for European Championship

FOLLOW: Keep up with all the latest on the Love Rugby League mobile app and podcast