Richard Knight forced back into action for Underbank Rangers

Underbank coach Richard Knight is poised to play his first game for two years

Underbank Rangers v Hindley at The Cross.

Underbank coach Richard Knight will play his first game in two seasons in a bid to help his patched-up side secure a vital National Conference League Third Division home win over Wigan St Cuthberts tomorrow.

The 28-year-old half-back has been forced into action as Rangers’ current injury crisis continues.

A lack of experienced players was at the heart of last weekend’s bitterly-disappointing 24-8 defeat at Blackbrook.

It was Underbank’s first defeat of the season – they had won their opening four games – and with several key players remaining on the sidelines, Knight felt he had no other choice but to lace up the boots once again, despite needing a back operation to repair two slipped discs.

“I’m still young enough and fit enough to play,” said former semi-professional player Knight.

“It had been my intention to have the back surgery at the end of this season and then try and get back playing again next year.

“But the current injury situation has forced me back into action a lot sooner than I would have liked. I just hope I get through the game ok.

“All being well, we’ll start to get some players back over the next week or two and I can return to the sidelines, even though I am pretty excited about getting back our there!”

Knight will, however, have an experienced half-back partner by his side in Neil Barrett, who returns after missing last week’s Blackbrook defeat, but it’s the fact fellow playmaker James Usher is still missing that’s made up the head coach’s mind to play.

But also missing this weekend is top prop Dave Valentine, who has been ruled out for two months with a fractured eye socket and cheekbone picked up last week, while influential duo Matt Adam (hip) and Tom Eidson (ankle) are expected to miss the next couple of games.

On top of that, inspirational captain and hooker Andy Boothroyd is a major doubt with a back problem.

It’s not all bad news, though.

Returning to the squad are prop Luke Karolczuk, hooker Steve Berry and back-rowers Rob Joyce and Sam Rochford.

 
 
comments powered by Disqus

Journalists

Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
Chris Roberts
Huddersfield Giants correspondent
Louise Cooper
Crime correspondent
Nick Lavigueur
Health Correspondent
Joanne Douglas
Local Government Correspondent
Linda Whitwam
Education Correspondent
Henryk Zientek
Business Correspondent
Val Javin
Features Editor
Martin Shaw
Mirfield Correspondent