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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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UPDATED: Barrow Raiders sign Leigh hooker

BARROW Raiders have eased their injury problems with the signing of Leigh hooker Anthony Nicholson.

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NEW FACE: Hooker Anthony Nicholson has joined Barrow Raiders on loan from Leigh Centurions DAVE WILLIAMS/RLPHOTOS.COM

The 22-year-old has signed on a month’s loan from the Centurions and adds a needed new string to coach Darren Holt’s play-making bow.

With number nine James Dandy and half-back Scott Kaighan both sidelined and scrum half Liam Campbell moving to full-back last week in the absence of both Lee Haney and Dean McGilvray, Barrow’s options in the middle of the park have been limited.

But Nicholson, a former Great Britain Community Lions Under-18s tourist to Australia – alongside new Raiders team-mate Adam Clay – gives Holt added strength and comes straight into contention for the Good Friday trip to Keighley.

“He definitely fits the bill of the right player in the right position,” said the Barrow coach, who had recently spoken of the difficulties of signing new players for the club. “He’s a very good player, but he’s found himself down at Leigh with Bob Beswick and Sean Penkywicz in front of him.

“For whatever reason, he is not getting picked, but he is a very good player.

“I’ve played against him three or four times and he has absolutely torn us up virtually single-handedly.

“When I was made aware that he was available, I had no choice but to see if we could bring him in.”

Holt added: “I played against him for Workington and he is just a very good player.

“He is still a youngish lad, but when he became available, it made a lot of sense.

“It makes even more sense now with Scotty Kaighan getting injured and moving Liam Finch up into the half-backs potentially.

“The way we are planning on going forward, we had to bring another hooker in, with Finchy moving out of that berth. It made a lot of sense.”

While it is hoped one ankle injury victim, in Dandy, will return to the Barrow playing ranks in the next week or so, Kaighan faces up to six weeks out.

That means the switch of Finch to half-back – the position where he started his career – from hooker is likely to be more permanent, leaving Nicholson as a good rotation option with Nathan Mossop in the middle of the front row.

The injury to Kaighan – picked up as he scored against the Centurions in the 42-30 defeat last Thursday – made the importance of bringing Nicholson in all the more important, and Holt added: “It was already sorted by time we played Leigh.

“I just had a word with Anthony when we went down there, but it was pretty much already sorted by then, we just had to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.

“If there was any thought process still to go through, when Scotty Kaighan got injured it became a no-brainer.

“It was pretty much done and dusted.

“This was the main one I was looking for. I say that, there were no panic stations.

“It was more a case of having areas where I thought we needed a bit of a lift, a bit of a pick-up and the right person became available, so we moved on it as quickly as we could.

“Going forward, there will certainly not be any more coming in before the Easter schedule.

“We’re going to build up to the Easter weekend now, with the two key games, and after that we will know better as to where we’re at.”

Have your say

its not hookers wingers or half backs barrow need it big forwards. the games i have watched they are getting beat in the middle all the time. its ok buying all these leaders but if there is no one to lead whats the point? there are plenty of good local backs in the town that will do a good job but there just isnt any big forwards here or ones that will break the line and be able to pop a pass in the tackle. but im sure holty knows what hes doing

Posted by mucker on 27 March 2013 at 19:44

Think Holty is losing the plot 5 Hookers ? If this Nicholson kid ain't good enough for Leigh then why does Holty think he's good enough for Barrow. Think this level is too much for Holty maybe it's not a player we need to help the team maybe a new manager wouldn't go amiss one that can motivate the boys and give them some belief in themselves

Posted by Way io on 26 March 2013 at 16:29

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