Halifax Panthers can confirm that Cole Oakley has joined Betfred Championship neighbours Keighley Cougars on an initial two week loan deal.
The 22 year old utility man joined the Panthers from Warrington Wolves ahead of the 2022 season but has found himself down the pecking order when it comes to first team opportunities at The Shay, making just 2 appearances for Halifax during his time with the club.
He has previously spent time on loan with Rochdale Hornets, Hunslet and North Wales Crusaders so far this season, and will now link up with Jy-Mel Coleman’s side with immediate effect, going straight into contention for their Round 15 trip to Newcastle Thunder on Sunday.
Panthers Head Coach Simon Grix commented: “Cole has been great in the background for a couple of years now. He’s part of that generation of kids where the academy got shut down, he didn’t play for a bit, had a few games at Newcastle then he ended up with us. He’s been really good for us, great in training but he’s got people in front of him so we’ve managed to get him out on loan. He’s played a couple of games at Castleford Reserves and went well, then went on loan to North Wales Crusaders and enjoyed his time there.”
“And had this opportunity to go and play Championship not come up, I’m sure he would’ve been happy to stay there a little while longer. But the opportunity to play in the Championship at Keighley is too good to turn down and obviously, the natural progression for him is, if you’ve gone alright at League One then we’ll have a look at you in the Championship.”
“He’s obviously in our thoughts and what not so we’ll just keep a close eye on him. It’s two weeks at the moment but it might be longer. I know Keighley have been looking for players and Cole just fits, the timing of it is right so we’ll let him go there and hopefully, he enjoys it and also gets a feel for what the Championship is like over consecutive games.”
Director of Rugby Richard Durgan added: “Cole needs game time and has found it hard to get opportunities this season. He’s been great around the group, and a nicer lad you would never wish to meet. He goes to Keighley with the opportunity of playing time so it was an obvious choice for Cole to go and get some minutes on the field.”