HUDDERSFIELD V SEDGLEY PARK – MATCH PREVIEW

Coach Gareth Lewis makes four changes as Huddersfield RU hunt a fourth successive National 2 North victory at home to Sedgley Park.

In the pack, Francis Entressengle and big Austen Thompson return to the starting line-up at Lockwood Park (Saturday, 3pm).

While in the backs, Tom Owen is recalled at centre and Elliot Knight selected on the wing after an excellent display for the Falcons.

Following the fine 31-17 win at Leicester Lions last time out, powerful pack man Adam Blades is also back among the replacements after recovering from a shoulder injury.

“This is another big test for us against another form team, but our lads have a real togetherness now,” said Lewis, whose side are ninth to Sedgley Park’s fourth.

“Sedgley Park are an established club at this level or above and like to play an exciting brand of rugby – they have been beaten only once in the last seven games.

“Our performance at Leicester Lions was good, but without question there are still areas to improve on and we’ve focused on those in training this week.

“As I’ve said, the lads have a real togetherness as a group andI believe we became even tighter on the road last week.

“If we can reach similar levels in attack and defence, and continue with the fantastic home support, then we will be a tough team to beat.”

Dual-registration fly half Harry Davey, from Yorkshire Carnegie, scored 28 of the points at Leicester Lions, but Lewis described the team performance as “outstanding”.

“I guess the exciting thing is we can still be better,” added the coach.

“To turn a top team over in their own back yard takes real character and maturity.

“I thought we showed great variety in the way we played, mixing expansive running rugby with some hard, direct running around the rucks.”

Lewis added: “The team spirit is as good as anywhere I’ve been involved.

“The lads have become a group of mates who work incredibly hard for each other.

“This will serve us well in the tough games we now face.

“Harry (Davey) was excellent once again. To score 28 points is some achievement, but he always wants to improve and he’ll already certainly have an eye on this next match.”

Sedgley Park are based in the north Manchester suburb of Whitefield – they have a 3,000 capacity ground – and are the third team to visit Lockwood Park this season with a National 1 pedigree.

They have nine wins and only three defeats this season, which all came away from home and against higher-ranking teams.

The last time the teams met, in the 2015/16 season, Sedgley did the double over Huddersfield and went on to finish as runners-up, but lost their North v South play-off against Old Albanians, narrowly missing a return to National 1.

Huddersfield: Lewis Workman, Elliot Knight, Tom Owen, Mark Pease, Brandon Conway, Harry Davey, Joel Hinchliffe, Alex Battye (captain), Francis Entressengle, Reuben Pollard, Adam Malthouse, Austen Thompson, Nick Sharpe, Lewis Bradley, Richard Piper. Replacements: Adam Blades, Ben Morrill, Declan Thompson, Jonny West, Will Milner.

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