Huddersfield Rugby Union Club kick off their National II North season against Hull at Lockwood Park on Saturday (3pm).

Head coach Gareth Lewis has a new-look squad at his disposal and is aiming to hit the ground running.

Players like prop Callum Thompson have returned to the club , along with tight head Loz Sanderson and back rower Harvey Keighley-Payne.

South African Josh Crickmay has arrived along with fly half Cail Cookland, while Tor Borrowdale continues his dual registration from Yorkshire Carnegie.

Experienced centre or wing Dave Martin has moved from Sandal, Lancashire Under 20 Harris Morris has put pen to paper  while the likes of Lewis Workman have re-signed for another campaign – along with many others.

“Everyone connected with the club is hugely excited for the new season,” said Lewis, whose team travel to Otley for their second match on September 14.

“As like many clubs in the National leagues, pre-season can be tough as we balance semi professional rugby.

“We’ve managed to retain the majority of the squad which is great for continuity.

“The two pre-season friendlies (against Sheffield and Harrogate) have shown glimpses of good rugby and at the same time enabled us to identify key areas to work on and build some core match fitness.”

Field finished fourth last season with 19 wins from their 30 matches – a tremendous return at the highest level the club has played.

Lewis expects it to be doubly tough in 2019-20.

“The competition looks incredibly strong once again and I can’t see any easy games,” he admitted.

“It’s a brutal thirty game season which tests everyone physically and mentally.”

So what of the opening fixture against Hull?

“We are fully aware of the threat that Hull pose this weekend,” he explained.

“They have built a strong squad over a number of seasons and have recruited heavily once again in the off season.

“However, we will go about our business to the best of our ability and see where it takes us.

“The boys have developed a real togetherness over the last few years and will fight tooth and nail for each other this season.”

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