By Brandon Reeves
Looking to bounce back from agonising defeat to league leaders Hull Ionians, Huddersfield host Stourbridge at Lockwood Park.
Gareth Lewis’ side have had a week off to re-focus and re-energise in preparation for a physical battle against the Midlanders who come into the game in ninth place.
As well as being a handy side physically, Stour aren’t backwards in coming forwards, having the league’s second-best record in the points for column with 297.
Despite this, the visitors come in to it on the back of a couple of defeats to Chester and Fylde, while Field themselves just suffered a first defeat in eight, so both outfits are looking for a return to more auspicious form.
However, Lewis still has to contest with the rigours of a season, and a number of changes are to be made by Gareth Lewis.
“We have six very tough games leading up to Christmas starting this week against a big physical Stourbridge side and the players have themselves some great targets.
“We still have a number of injuries to contend with and its really testing our squad depth at the moment.
While experienced ex Sale man Chris Johnson returns to the club at fly half at a convenient time, the services of Harry Davey have been lost to Yorkshire Carnegie’s championship cup campaign while Mark Pease is another casualty.
In midfield Elliot Munnelly sustained a knee injury during the week and will be out for 5-6 months after surgery.
He joins the long-term injury list at Lockwood that includes Ben Morrill, Tom Owen and Brandon Conway.
Skipper Dickie Piper will return at his usual number eight role, meaning Nick Sharpe moves back to the second row.
A real boost for Lewis is the return of Kian Stewart to the wing after ankle injury.
Lewis Workman and Lewis Bradley will both be tested for fitness before kick-off, the former returning from a knee injury while Bradley sustained a shoulder blow at Hull.
Guy Borrowdale drops to the bench to accommodate the return of Sharpe to lock.
Jack Maplesden replaces Joe Green at scrum half as a new half back combination takes its place.
Lewis says his side are itching to set the record straight after defeat.
“Saturday can’t come soon enough for the players. They really benefitted from the weeks rest and have trained with great intensity this week.
“It’s important we quickly regather the momentum after the disappointment of the defeat at Hull Ionians.
Expected Huddersfield XV: Tom Hodson, Kian Stewart, Lewis Workman, Will Milner, Elliot Knight, Chris Johnson, Jack Maplesden; Reuben Pollard, Fran Entressengle, Alex Battye, Matt Dunn, Nick Sharpe, Liam Parfitt, Lewis Bradley, Dickie Piper(C).
Replacements: Harry Whitfield, Ross, Thornton, Guy Borrowdale, Joe Green, James Davies