HUDDERSFIELD face a lengthy trip to Coventry for the second round of the EDF Energy National Trophy after being drawn against Midlands I club Broadstreet.
But before that tie on November 22, coach Mark Sowerby’s side have league business in mind and go in the opposite direction tomorrow for their next clash in National III North, where they tackle Darlington Mowden Park (3.00).
The Lockwood Park side will be boosted by the return of massive second row Gavin Rhodes, who will bring both strength and experience to the pack, with George Hinchliff, who has done a fine job filling in at lock, returning to his more favoured position as blindside flanker.
Full-back Tom Ainsworth is not available this week, so Ben Paxman drops back to No15, allowing brother Lee a shot at centre, alongside James Mortimore who, after his powerful performance last week, again gets the starting nod.
“Even taking into consideration the quality of opposition we were up against last week, Morts put in a very strong display, certainly one of his best since he came to the club last season, and deserves his place in the starting line-up,” said Sowerby.
“He’s a big lad and although it takes him a while to get into his stride, once he gets his legs driving he can take some pulling down.”
Sowerby is also going with James Davies at hooker this week, with Chris Gough on the bench, while Damien Clayton resumes as the first choice scrum half.
“Damien starts at nine tomorrow, but that is not a reflection on Joel Hinchliffe, who has done a very good job for us in the game-and-a-half he has played at scrum half, and it is good to know we have such good back-up should we need it,” added Sowerby.
“And I’m also starting with Davies, who could give us a bit more option in the loose than Goughie.
“Last week against Aspatria we got the chance to get over the previous League defeat against Caldy, but we know tomorrow will be a different kettle of fish.
“It’s also a game that we need to win, and one that we have targeted for winning points.
“Everyone is looking forward to this match, even though we know we’ll be tested much harder than we were against Aspatria, so we need to strengthen our mental attitude because we can’t afford to slip up this weekend.
“This is definitely a game that we need to win, and I’m not bothered by how many, I’ll even settle for one point.
“Darlington have made wholesale changes in the last couple of seasons and I think they have an even younger side than ours.
“But they have already beaten Caldy this season, so it just goes to show they are very obviously no mugs.”
Huddersfield: Paxman (B), Shaw, Mortimore, Paxman (L), Sutcliffe; Johnson, Clayton; McPhail, Davies, Stringwell, Harris, Rhodes, Hinchliff, Whitehead, Sharpe. Subs: Slater, Gough, Hinchliffe, Sharrock, Sowerby.
Falcons (Cleckheaton, away, 3.00): Truelove; Johnson, Prescott, Stephenson, Rothery; Scott, Davies; Takis, Shiels, Battye, Owen, Wilson, Lancaster, Nico, Mason. Subs: Van Rooyen, Brannan, Lockwood, Cundale.