HUDDERSFIELD will be looking to extend last week’s Cup form into tomorrow’s National League clash at Preston Grasshoppers (3.00) when they plot their first League II win in seven outings.
But unlike last week at Cleckheaton, where a predominantly second string claimed a 22-14 win in the Yorkshire Cup, coach Mark Sowerby will this weekend send out his full-strength First XV as they chase a fifth win of the campaign.
“The win last week did us the world of good and the mood in the camp this week has been very positive,” said Sowerby.
“The Cleckheaton Cup-tie gave us the chance to rest one or two of the lads who were carrying knocks and everyone is now raring to go against Grasshoppers.
“Preston are one of the teams around us that we have to target for a victory and we are reverting back to full strength tomorrow as we chase another win.”
Matt Clarke, who returned from injury last week to impress in the second half when coming off the subs’ bench, is rewarded with a starting spot in the centres, alongside Lee Paxman, meaning Donovan van Vuuren moves out to the wing with Tom Owen retaining the full-back berth.
Hooker James Davies is back up front, as is Tony Stringwell, while Gavin Rhodes and Ben Harris are reunited in the second row.
Another man to impress at Cleckheaton was flanker Gareth Lewis, so he will again start in tandem with skipper Mark Whitehead, leaving Nick Sharpe on a very strong-looking bench, where he is joined by Ben Paxman, Alex Battye, George Hinchliff and Jack McPhail.
One area of concern for Sowerby however, is at hooker, where Davies is being risked after a leg injury because there is currently no other real option, Tom Doughty having been diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder.
“Sharpy has played at hooker when he was in the junior set-up, so if needs be he may have to be called upon, but we’ll just have to hope that James (Davies) comes through unscathed,” added Sowerby.
Huddersfield: Owen, Van Vuuren, Clarke, Paxman (L), Ryder; Johnson, Hinchliffe; Slater, Davies, Stringwell, Harris, Rhodes, Lewis, Whitehead, Hyde. Subs: Sharpe, Paxman (B), Hinchliff, Battye, McPhail.