Roughyeds add former Hornet
FORMER Rochdale Hornets powerhouse Danny Samuel has signed for Oldham RL on a one-year contract after training with the Roughyeds for several weeks.
A 27-year-old second-row forward, London-born Samuel was at Championship club Dewsbury Rams last season after enjoying two crowd-pleasing seasons at Rochdale in 2010 and 2011.
He had an offer to go back to Spotland for the season that starts soon, but chose instead to join his former Hornets team mates Dale Bloomfield and Mark Hobson at Whitebank.
Samuel will be the third oldest member of a young Roughyeds squad, behind Neil Roden (32) and Jason Boults (29), and will add essential experience.
He moved north from London to Yorkshire when he was 12, and was introduced to the sport at Batley Boys before joining Leeds Rhinos. While still in his formative years, he played youth rugby with Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Huddersfield Giants, for whom he played in the 2003 Academy grand final.
A period with French club Carcassonne was followed by two separate spells with Rochdale, where he played 39 games in total across two seasons. He has also played for Batley and Dewsbury.
He caused a stir in 2010 when, playing for Hornets against Swinton, he scored a try direct from the kick-off, timed at 7.9 secs and believed to be the fastest ever recorded in rugby league.
He has also played for the Jamaican national team.
Describing Samuel as an "explosive" attacker, Oldham boss Scott Naylor said: "He will give us a new dimension --- qualities we didn't have previously.
"He has looked good in training, and I've had sound reports about him to back that up.
"Though best known as a second-row forward, he can play in two or three positions. That, combined with his experience, will strengthen us as a squad.
"I'm glad to have him on board as we start to focus on our first warm-up game against Salford at Whitebank a week on Sunday.
"It's been a long pre-season and the players say the first run-out can't come soon enough."
A full-time gardener by trade, Samuel said he was relishing the challenge of kick-starting his rugby career as one of a dozen new signings at a club where there was also a new coaching and backroom team.
"It will be a fresh start all round," he said. "That appealed to me, that and the prospect of linking up again with two of my former team mates from Rochdale days.
"Hornets offered me a deal, but I preferred Oldham for a few reasons, not least that I will have a lot less travelling to do because I live near Leeds and the Rochdale players train at St Helens.
"Having trained with Oldham for the past five weeks, I'm sure I've made the right decision.
"It won't be easy to get promotion, but I would like to think we can win the competition and go up as champions without having to go through the play-offs."