CONFIDENT Underbank Rangers coach Ritchie Hawkyard believes his side can break their Conference National League duck this weekend.

After losing their opening two fixtures to Hemel Stags and Liverpool Buccaneers, Rangers are keen to avoid a hat trick of defeats at East Lancashire Lions on Sunday (3.00).

And with Hawkyard and fellow coach Andy Boothroyd able to call on their strongest squad of the season, the Swinton scrum half is sure they will have something to celebrate on their way back from Darwen.

“East Lancashire can’t have their ground on Saturday, so they’ve had to switch it to the Sunday,” said Hawkyard, who will miss the game because he will be in National League II action for Swinton up at Workington Town.

“And, to be honest, that suits us down to the ground.

“Although it means I won’t be able to help coach the side and Andy will have to do it on his own, it also means we’ll have a much stronger squad available.

“Quite a few of our players are still in action for their winter teams, which rules them out of playing on the Saturday.

“But with the Underbank game being on the Sunday, several players have said they want to play both days.

“As a result, we’ll now have players of the calibre of Lee Hird, Darren Hawkyard, Glen Holdsworth, Scott Wilkinson and Joe Flaherty in the Underbank team, and they could make all the difference in the world.

“Unfortunately, Lee St Hilaire, Marc Hirst and Brook York are injured and Ben Lewis is working, but overall I believe we’re stronger for this game.”