YMCA coach Carl Thewlis is hoping a trip to the seaside can help re-invigorate his side’s Yorkshire I season tomorrow when they visit Bridlington (2.15).
It will be a return to an old stamping ground for Thewlis (he spent two seasons at the East Yorkshire club), but he is not expecting any favours from his former club who are currently fifth in the table with 11 points from five wins and a draw.
“Bridlington always have a big heavy pack, who have a tendency to keep it among themselves and rarely give it to their backs,” said Thewlis.
“I’m certainly expecting a battle, and we will have to play to our full potential – which we have only seen in sporadic bursts so far this season – if we are to come away with two points.
Skipper James Bracken is expected to start this week, having come off the bench in the last couple of games.
“James has been carrying a few injuries, but now he’s fully fit again and as we saw last week when he came on against Sheffield, he gives us some much-needed go-forward, which, with the exception of Neil Walker, we are not getting from the rest of the pack.”
Damian Pearson, left, is set to resume in the second row, alongside big Simon Whitehead, the former having come off early doors last week with a slight knock, while Gareth Greenwood returns after he was unavailable for the Sheffield clash.
The most interesting selection, however, is likely to be that of Colts scrum half Josh Marshall, who is set to make his first-team starting debut in place of Ben Wolfe, another carrying an injury.
As well as playing for the Colts, Marshall is also training with Leeds Tykes, and it is hoped will be able to give stand-off Graeme Sarjeant speedier delivery than he received last week.
YMCA: Williams; Belton, Ryder, Stead, Greenwood; Sarjeant, Marshall; Gregson, Joblin, Van Niekirk, Whitehead, Pearson, Bracken, Anderson, Walker. Subs: Coulson, Dyke, Housley.
Second XV (Selby, h, 2.15): From: Watson, Farrington, Bedford, Hellawell (D), Hellawell (K), Orton-Blue (L), Orton-Blue (A), Willans, Stafford, Boothroyd, Heptinstall, Scanlon, Sample, Hopkins, Taylor, Dalton, Orr.
Colts (Selby, a, National Plate, Sunday, 12.30): From: Dyke, Bell, Orton-Blue, Willans, Housley, Hodge, Hopkins, Marshall, Senior, Pearce, Bentley, Ryder, Walsh, Butterfield, Roberts, Stead