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Huddersfield Rugby Union Club kick off with three debutants against South Leicester

And another new boy on bench for coach Gareth Lewis

Captain Alex Battye, seen lifting the National III North silverware last season, leads Huddersfield into battle at South Leicester

Huddersfield Rugby Union Club field three debutants as they open their National II North season at South Leicester on Saturday.

Centre Will Milner, fly half Jonny West and forward Declan Thompson are all included in the starting XV for the trip to Welford Road (3pm).

One more new signing, Harry Davey, who is on dual registration from Yorkshire Carnegie , is also included among the replacements by head coach Gareth Lewis.

Huddersfield are without the unavailable Adam Blades, Callum Thompson, Richard Piper and Brandon Conway as they look to continue their unbeaten form from last season, when they lifted the National III North title in style.

“This will be a very tough challenge,” said Lewis.

“South Leicester have established themselves in National II over the last couple of seasons and they have a number of excellent individuals in their side.

“We are all excited by our return to this level, but we are not just going to make up the numbers.

“If we stick to our processes and every single player plays to the best of their ability, we will be a difficult side to beat.

“The new lads have integrated well into the side over the last few months.

“There are now lads with experience and this will certainly be called upon throughout the season, so we have a good balance.”

Two years ago Huddersfield got their National II North season off to a winning start by beating the then newly-promoted South Leicester 24-17 at Lockwood Park.

Unfortunately, it was one of only seven games Field would win that year and when they met for the return fixture in the Midlands on the final Saturday of the season, their relegation fate was already sealed.

South Leicester went on to win 11 of their matches, including the one against Huddersfield at home, and finish in a comfortable 12th place.

Last season they built on their solid start in the higher flight with a seventh-place finish, and they will pose a tough test.

Huddersfield: Lewis Workman, Elliot Knight, Tom Owen, Will Milner, Danny Grainger, Jonny West, Joel Hinchliffe, Alex Battye (Captain), Francis Entressengle, Adam Tamanis, Austen Thompson, Adam Malthouse,

Declan Thompson, Lewis Bradley, Nick Sharpe. Replacements - Reuben Pollard, Ben Morrill, Ben Hoyle, Luke Booth, Harry Davey.

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