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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Injury hit Workington Town call on veteran Frazer

Workington Town could bank on the experience of returning veteran Neil ‘Gus’ Frazer in tomorrow’s tough Northern Rail Cup opener against high-flying Championship visitors Sheffield Eagles at Derwent Park (3pm).

Workington action photo
Neil Frazer

The rangy three-quarter, who turns 36 next month, has been out of action since retiring after Town’s Championship One Grand Final appearance last term.

But he has loyally answered a call to help the club out of an injury crisis and trained with the squad on Thursday night.

“He trained very well and will come in to the reckoning,” coach Gary Charlton said. “He has been there and done it, and knows how to play rugby.

“Whatever his fitness levels are like, he will do a good job because of his knowledge of the game.”

With Marc Bainbridge (ankle) and Peter Lupton (wrist) both set to miss out, Town are likely to field a new-look half-back combination, full-back Brett Carter possibly moving up to partner Carl Forber.

Karl Olstrum has also joined the injured list and Town will not name their side until today.

“If anyone’s carrying an injury, they won’t be risked,” warned Charlton. “You have to give lads a chance, and with everyone in our squad training hard, they will all get an opportunity in Northern Rail Cup games to put their hands up for places. Nothing is set in stone.”

Sheffield should pose a stern test after reaching the Championship Grand Final last year, and 23 of their 25-man squad are available tomorrow.

“They are usually slow starters and hopefully will be this year,” joked Charlton. “But at the back end of the year they play some good rugby and are always thereabouts at finals time. They are a good, solid team.”

Nev Morrison, signed from Hull FC after a spell on loan at Doncaster, is likely to get an early chance as centre partner for Menzie Yere.

But Mitchell Stringer (knee) and Alex Rowe (arm) are both doubtful, while Dane McDonald (shoulder) is definitely out.

Coach Mark Aston said: “We have a big first-team squad and the focus will be on them in the Northern Rail Cup. I want to know by the first home game in the league what is my best team.”

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