HUDDERSFIELD RU skipper Mark Whitehead returns to the starting line-up for tomorrow’s clash at Rugby Lions (3.00) after being on the subs’ bench for the last two games.
The speedy wing forward impressed last week when he got on the field, and he certainly brings an attacking flair to the side which they do miss without his presence – as they do his leadership on the field.
“Mark responded very well when he came on last week, and naturally feels he has a point to prove after starting the last two games on the bench,” said director of rugby Mark Sowerby.
“And as club captain he has the ability to lift the team’s spirits, which we could benefit from after back-to-back defeats.”
The starting choice of Whitehead over Gareth Lewis is the only change from the team who produced a much-improved showing in last week’s defeat to Macclesfield, with 19-year-old talent Tom Owen retaining his spot at full-back.
Last week marked Owen’s first-ever First XV League start for Huddersfield, and after a nervous opening he acquitted himself very well and looks a great prospect for the future.
The only other change comes on the bench, where another of the club’s up-coming talents, Tom van Rooyen, joins former Academy players Alex Battye and Francis Entressengle (the tryscorer against Macclesfield).
Huddersfield and Rugby Lions have a very similar playing record so far this season with four wins from seven games apiece, and a points difference of 67 and 61 respectively.
However, the Lions have accrued five bonus points, against Field’s two, which puts them fifth in the table as opposed to Huddersfield’s eighth.
“It should be a good game tomorrow between two pretty evenly-matched sides, but it would be nice to come away with another W on our card,” added Sowerby.
Huddersfield: Owen; Ryder, Van Vuuren, Paxman (L), Sutcliffe; Johnson, Clayton; Slater, Davies, Stringwell, Harris, Rhodes, Sharpe, Whitehead, Hyde. Subs: Battye, Entressengle, Hinchliff, Lewis, Van Rooyen.