Huddersfield Rugby Union Club have reshuffled their resources as they aim to make it 19 wins in a row when they face Ilkley at Lockwood Park.
Following another commanding display in beating Firwood Waterloo 49-7 in their last outing two weeks ago, Gareth Lewis’s men are ready for action again.
Lewis is excited at the prospect of five continuous weeks of rugby after playing only three games in January.
Club captain Alex Battye returns to the starting line-up after featuring as a substitute at Firwood, and will be in the front row alongside Ben Morrill and Callum Thompson.
Ben Hoyle returns to the back row while Kristian Sharples makes his long-awaited return following time out with a shoulder injury.
Despite picking up a knock in the last game, Brandon Conway remains in the starting line-up, but there is no place for leading scorer Elliot Hodgson (ankle), who scored a hat trick in the away victory against Ilkley in October, when it finished 58-8 to the Field.
“It’s not been ideal since the turn of the year with the free weekends, but we now have five weeks of continuous rugby to get our teeth into,” said Lewis.
“The boys are now fresh and can’t wait to run out in front of the home support once again.
“Training has been pretty tough this week with plenty of contact and conditioning, which will hopefully prepare us well for a tough game.”
While Huddersfield won by a big margin at Ilkley, Lewis expects a tough test this weekend.
“We played very well at Ilkley in October and we must reach the same standard, if not better this time out,” he explained.
“We know they have several outstanding individuals and teams around them have been winning games of late, so we will not be taking them lightly.”
Ilkley have lost their previous five games, although they narrowly lost to Rossendale, who sit second in the table, 24-17 last time out.
Huddersfield: Lewis Workman, Danny Granger, Tom Owen, Brandon Conway, Elliot Knight, Chris Bell, Joel Hinchliffe, Nick Sharpe, Ben Hoyle, Lewis Bradley, Adam Malthouse, Austen Thompson, Callum Thompson, Ben Morrill, Alex Battye (captain). Replacements: Adam Tamanis, Fran Entressengle, Kristian Sharples.
Huddersfield YMCA take on Percy Park away (2.15), aiming to build on an excellent 36-10 win at Guisborough last weekend.
That win moved YM up to sixth in the 14-strong North I East table, level on points with Percy Park and Morpeth.
With two points separating five clubs in the middle of the standings, though, it’s important YM continue to chalk victories.
Three tries in the first half last week enabled them to set up a 17-0 advantage at the break, and they pushed on strongly with three more tries to mark the win.
Prop Stu Dyke went off injured last week, when Andy Appleby, Harry Scholes and Wayne Wight went into the starting line-up.