By Brandon Reeves
Huddersfield’s testing run of games going into the Christmas break throws up another stern examination, this time travelling to a team looking to bounce back to National Division 1 in Fylde.
After a seven year stay in the division above, the Lancashire club have taken time to adjust to life back in National 2 North but find themselves on a four-match winning run and will leapfrog Field in the table with a win in Saturday’s roses clash.
Among their recent victories, they managed something no team had for a year in bringing back a win from Chester, a side Field were given the handoff from last week.
However, the match is one Gareth Lewis says the team is relishing “Fylde are obviously a club who’ve operated at a higher level than ourselves and have a proud tradition for playing an attacking brand of rugby.
“This will be a great challenge for us and the lads are excited to test themselves.”
Field are looking to have a reaction to the Chester defeat and hoping to buck a trend of three defeats in four games, while building momentum going into two massive Yorkshire derbies before the break.
After Fylde Huddersfield will play host to Otley and Wharfedale.
The team being sent out for that reaction is unchanged barring Alex Battye’s recall to tighthead in the front row, which sees Adam Blades back on the bench.
During the week Field have had guest training from Yorkshire Carnegie’s Richard Beck who delivered unit sessions with the forwards to help with the preparation for a tight match.
Lewis was pleased by Beck’s help and hopes it will impact on his side’s game “Having Richard with us on Tuesday allowed us to make some quick fixes to our game and despite last week’s result there were many positives which we are aiming to build on this week.”
Huddersfield can stay on Chester’s heels with a win at the weekend or at least stay in the mix of clubs currently there or thereabouts.
Chester themselves sit in second place and play host to Sedgley Park at Hare Lane in one of a few standout fixtures from the game week that includes a Leicestershire derby where Hinckley host Leicester Lions.
Huddersfield XV: Tom Hodson, Kian Stewart, Lewis Workman, Will Milner, Elliot Knight, Chris Johnson, Joe Green; Harry Whitfield, Fran Entressengle, Alex Battye, Guy Borrowdale, Nick Sharpe, Liam Parfitt, Lewis Bradley, Dickie Piper (C)
Replacements: Adam Blades, Mark Chivers, Matt Dunn, Bob Sykes, Jack Maplesden