Huddersfield RU have re-signed four key players for next season – including captain Alex Battye.
The front row took over the reins from suspended Nick Sharpe midway through the season and will lead the side next term.
Also confirmed as returning to Lockwood Park for what will be a National III North campaign are Ben Morrill, winger Elliot Knight and openside flanker Ben Hoyle.
It’s great news ahead of the National II trip to Preston Grasshoppers and head coach Gareth Lewis expects to confirm more signings soon.
“We are delighted these lads will be in the squad for 2016-17 as they are all vital cogs in the team and all crowd pleasers in their different ways,” said Lewis.
“It’s great that Alex Battye will be leading the side again next season.
“In Nick’s absence he has grown into the captaincy role and has the full backing of everyone connected with the club.
“I know he will set the benchmark for others to follow when we get to pre-season, both on and off the field.”
Morrill, Knight and Hoyle are not available for the Preston trip, which is Huddersfield’s third last of the season.
“Ben Hoyle has had another excellent season,” added Lewis.
“He punches well above his game, gets under the opposition’s skin, handles as well as any back and now leads the lineout, so you can see his value to the team.
“Ben Morrill is slowly getting back to full fitness and has obviously been a major loss to us this season.
“He is clearly a crowd favourite and it will be great to see him in action again next season.
“With Elliot Knight, he has a fantastic attitude and it’s players such as him that the club is built around.
“He has had a frustrating season this time, but I’m sure he’ll be fighting for the wing position next season.”
Huddersfield may already be relegated, but Lewis is determined to put one over on Preston, who beat them 32-6 at Lockwood Park in December.
“The home defeat against Preston has to rank up there as one of the lowest moments of the season,” explained the coach.
“We were out-performed and out-enthused on a bitterly cold and wet day.
“That win triggered a great run of form for them and credit must go to Garth Dew and his team as they sit comfortably in mid-table.
“The lads have a point to prove against Preston, in that we are better than the home scoreline suggested, but we must come out of the traps this week with aggression and intensity.”
Huddersfield: Hodson, Hodgson, Owen, Workman, Fletcher, Hinchliffe, Jeffrey, Battye, Thornton, Sanderson, Thompson (A), Rhodes (G), Rhodes (N), Bradley, Parfitt. Replacements - Thompson (D), Baxter, Walker, Grainer, Bell.<p/>