Fylde conjure up a wizard from Oz

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NEW signing Oliver Viney could make his Fylde RFC debut against Cinderford on Saturday, with a little help from Waneroo FC in Australia.

The 28-year-old back has signed at the Woodlands club after four years Down Under, but must be deregistered by Waneroo before he can play.

Viney is a former Barbarian, England Counties and Lancashire back, equally at home at full-back or in either wing position, who played his club rugby for Preston Grasshoppers, Orrell and Sale Sharks before emigrating in 2008.

He played for Perth Gold as well as skippering the Waneroo club in the Western Australia Premiership.

Viney, who scored 91 tries in 142 English league appearances, will train with his new team-mates for the first time tomorrow and could feature in Saturday’s final home game of 2011 provided the paperwork is completed in time.

Nelson said: “There are no red tape issues, it’s just a question of how quickly we can get everything done.

“He is now living near Garstang and has been keeping tabs on Fylde. He has been impressed by the ambition of the club and is looking forward to playing four us

“He is a good finisher and very sound defensively, and he can play effectively anywhere in the back three. .”

The former Lancaster University student said: “I’ve been coached by Mark Nelson at Orrell, Sale Sharks and with the Lancashire County squad, so we know each other very well.

“I also know most of the players at the club. Fylde is a successful and ambitious club, so the decision to come to the Woodlands was a fairly straightforward one. I will be very proud to represent Fylde.”

Nelson added: “His signing is further evidence that the best players in the county and beyond regard Fylde as the club to play for in order to maximise their ability and play at the highest possible level outside the Premiership.”

Viney’s availability could be one of several selection boosts for Nelson as Fylde look to end the year in style on home turf.

Steve Briers could be back after an ankle injury, and Nelson also hopes to have Steve McGinnis and Josh Beaumont up for selection.

The latter’s availability hinges on him coming through a university match for Durham against Loughborough unscathed.