Huddersfield will make the short trip to Cross Green this weekend to take on Otley (2.30pm KO) in search of a first National Two North win of the season at the second attempt.
Gareth Lewis’ men fell just short of a late win against Sedgley Park last time out but couldn’t make late pressure pay against fourteen men.
While they couldn’t quite get the result, Lewis saw some “encouraging signs” from the performance and will be hoping they can click into gear this Saturday.
“There were many encouraging signs in last week’s performance but also some areas we must be far better at.
“As coaches we prioritised these areas and this week the lads have responded brilliantly in training.”
And while the summer has seen many new faces at Lockwood park, both sides will see familiar faces lock horns in the form of Otley’s ex-Field flanker Adam Malthouse, with Tom Hodson returning to his old stomping ground at Cross Green.
Huddersfield aren’t the only ones who have been busy recruiting in the off-season, Saturday’s hosts have made key additions that include Malthouse. Gareth Lewis is acutely aware of this prospect.
“No doubt this will be a very tough encounter. Otley are a well-established club and have recruited extremely well during the off season. They have a number of lads in the squad who were playing in championship or higher not so long ago, so this makes us clear underdogs” Says Lewis.
Otley finished below Huddersfield last season and just five points clear of the drop but did manage to get the better of the two sides in their last meeting, an 18-22 win at Lockwood Park.
However, this is a new season and a relatively new Huddersfield.
A Huddersfield side who make two changes to the side that started against Sedgley.
One change in the backs sees injured Kian Stewart (Shin Splints) replaced by Mark Pease meaning a reshuffle that moves Lewis Workman to Full Back, Tom Hodson to the wing so Pease can slot alongside James Davies in Centre.
The other change made will be in the forwards and has Guy Borrowdale making his Field debut in the second row.
Ross Thornton returns from Sheffield Tigers to make the replacements alongside Matt Dunn, Joe Green, Adam Blades and Arthur Wilkinson.
Lewis said on his lineup that “Selection has been extremely tough this week particularly on Bob Sykes who did well coming off the bench last week, but tough calls have to be made in the interest of the team.”
Team: Lewis Workman, Elliot Knight, Mark Pease, James Davies, Tom Hodson, Will Milner, Jack Mapelsden; Alex Battye, Fran Entressengle, Harry Whitfield, Guy Borrowdale, Nick Sharpe, Lewis Bradley, Liam Parfitt, Dickie Piper (C).
Replacements: Ross Thornton, Matt Dunn, Joe Green, Adam Blades, Arthur Wilkinson.
Brandon Reeves, Huddersfield Examiner correspondent