HUDDERSFIELD rugby director Mark Sowerby is set to make a couple of experimental changes for the visit of Cambridge outfit Shelford in the first round of the EDF National Cup at Lockwood Park tomorrow (3.00).
One of the club’s leading Academy players, Tom Sharrock, will start in the back row, while another of the up-and-coming talents, James Davies, takes over as hooker in what amounts to a pack re-shuffle.
Prop Jack McPhail has had a turn on the bench in the last couple of games, so he too starts tomorrow ‘to shake the cobwebs off’, while George Hinchliff moves up into the second row alongside Gavin Rhodes to make way for Sharrock’s inclusion.
The only change in the back division sees new Kiwi signing Rob McLaren installed at inside centre as Huddersfield attempt to extend their winning opening to the 2007/8 season to six matches.
“Rob has not yet had the chance to play at inside centre, which is his natural position, so it will be interesting to see how goes there,” said Sowerby. “And I also want to see how Tom (Sharrock) and James (Davies) go in the first team.
“Jack (McPhail) also needs a run after not getting on in the last couple of games.
“We are still putting out a strong side, and obviously we still want to keep our unbeaten sequence going.
“We have strength on the bench as well, because although Cup competitions tend to be a bit more relaxed, we still want to go through the rounds, and it’s always nice to get a run in the Cup.
“Shelford are unknown to some degree. They seem to be going alright in London I and, looking at some of their squad members, they do contain several Kiwis and South Seas players, so I’m expecting another tough workout.
“After the start we have made to the season of course we are confident, even though we only just scraped through in a couple of games.
“But five out of five breeds a winning attitude, and we know we have the strength to withstand pressure.”
Huddersfield: Ainsworth, Paxman (B), Paxman (L), McLaren, Shaw; Johnson, Clayton; McPhail, Davies, Howard, Rhodes, Hinchliff, Sharrock, Whitehead, Sowerby. Subs: Gough, Stringwell, Scrimshaw, Mortimore.