We're ready to face the threat
CAUTIOUS player-coach Mark Sowerby is leaving nothing to chance in his bid to avoid becoming the first Huddersfield side to lose to their arch rivals from the YMCA.
The Huddersfield chief has made a number of changes to the side that recorded the magnificent 19-13 win over North I leaders Caldy six days ago.
But he is still confident the line-up will be more than able to see off their Laund Hill hosts in tomorrow's eagerly-awaited derby battle (2.15).
Teenage scrum half Tom Ainsworth has been thrown in at the deep by earning a full senior debut in what promises to be a full-blooded fixture.
And highly promising hooker James Davies gets only his second start of the season in place of the rested Chris Gough.
However, rather than seeing their selections as a gamble, Sowerby believes this is their chance to prove they should feature regularly in the first team in the second half of the season.
"I've been wanting to take a very close look at these two for some time," said Sowerby.
"And this weekend would seem the ideal opportunity.
"Tom would have had his chance before now, had he not torn ankle ligaments earlier in the year.
"But he's now back to full fitness and has been looking very strong and very sharp in the second team.
"(Coach) Neil Summers has taken him under his wing and taken a greal deal of interest in his progress, because he was obviously a top-class scrum half in his day.
"Neil rates him very highly, which goes to show Tom definitely has something to offer.
"I'm really looking forward to playing alongside him for the first time.
"And I'm also looking forward to seeing how James goes again.
"He got his chance in the League at home to Penrith earlier in the season and did a great job in that win, so I know he'll go well.
"In fact, I'm sure everyone will do a good job this weekend.
"We have rested one or two players - they will probably play in the return at Lockwood Park a week later - but tomorrow's squad will still be strong."
Besides hooker Gough and scrum half Damian Clayton - who makes way for Ainsworth - those who played against Caldy and sit out tomorrow are Andy Metcalfe, Tony Stringwell, Thiu Barnard and Mark Whitehead.
Sowerby admits they all wanted to play this weekend, but knows their time will come.
"After the win over Caldy there's been a real spring in the step of everyone at training this week," added the experienced forward.
"Everyone wanted to play again tomorrow. It's a shame they can't all be accommodated.
"This may not be a League game, but try telling the boys it's not important!
"A derby fixture takes a lot of beating and I'm sure this will be a very special occasion.
"We may play a couple of leagues higher than the YMCA, but that counts for very little in matches like this.
"There's local pride at stake, and that's usually a massive source of motivation. It means form will count for nothing."