Amateur RL: Community clubs step up preparation for big kick-off

Oulton Raiders.
Oulton Raiders.
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FOUR LEEDS community sides will be in pre-season action tomorrow as they step up preparations for the new National Conference campaign which begins next month.

Milford Marlins, of Conference Division One, will face East Leeds – relegated to the second division last year – on the 4g pitch at Leeds Rhinos’ Kirkstall training base in the Dave Longhorn Memorial Cup (2pm).

Ryan Hall.

Ryan Hall.

Hooker Regan Cooper, from the Casino Cougars club who play in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League in New South Wales, Australia, is set to feature for Milford, along with fellow new signing Chris Bowler, a Great Britain Students prop.

Gareth Fairhead (from Oxford RL) and Sam Morton (Southport Tigers, in Australia) have both returned to the club and youngsters Jake Payne and Harry Gilfillan will be looking to impress Marlins’ coaching staff.

John Elkington (hand), Eddie Wilson (back), Dave Watmough (facial injury), Tom Barnes (back), Richard Hulme (calf) and Craig Harrison (shoulder) are all on Milford’s casualty list.

Stanningley, of Conference Division Three, play host to North West Counties Premier Division side Heysham Atoms (3pm).

Lee Radford.

Lee Radford.

The Leeds side are aiming to build on a win over Drighlington last week, plus victories for the club’s new academy team against Hunslet Old Boys and Siddal.

Oulton Raiders – relegated alongside East Leeds to Division Two – are at home to West Bowling tomorrow (2pm).

Meanwhile, Raiders stalwart Sasch Brook is organising a Candlelighters charity event at the club on Sunday, July 2, to support his nine-year-old nephew William Coley who was diagnosed with leukaemia last year.

The main event, after a planned youth rugby league festival, will be a game between an Oulton Raiders Select Side 1998-2014 and a National Conference League All Stars team from the same period.

England winger Ryan Hall, who signed for Leeds after playing in the Conference with Oulton, is set to take part and the All Stars team will be coached by Hull boss Lee Radford.

Brook played 448 games for Oulton from 1998-2014 and is now player welfare manager for City of Hull academy.