HUNSLET, who continue their push for promotion from Rugby League’s Betfred League 1 on Sunday with a trip to Rochdale Hornets, have confirmed their 21-man squad for a fixture which has extra resonance for head coach Alan Kilshaw.
‘Killer’ was previously at the helm at Hornets, who he guided to promotion in 2016 with a famous victory at Toulouse Olympique; Rochdale, meanwhile, are coached by Kilshaw’s predecessor at the South Leeds Stadium, Gary Thornton, who is assisted by former Hunslet captain Duane Straugheir.
Alan Kilshaw, though, is more interested in the immediate job in hand for a side that sits second in the table after six wins on the trot, including last Sunday’s backs-to-the-wall victory over previously unbeaten leaders Dewsbury Rams. He said: “We have resisted the opportunity to bring in anyone before the deadline today as we have a settled group and have been picking a consistent side each week, which shows how connected the group is.
“We will have to have some rotation at some point, as players on the fringes need to be match-conditioned going into the play offs. Nathan Newbound and Sean Croston (both at Cornwall) and now Nathan Conroy at Swinton are out on loan, getting valuable game-time; I think it illustrates the strength in the group, with three quality players out on loan and a number pushing for spots in the 17. We will look at how we approach Sunday, and then finalise the side.”
‘Killer’ concluded: “It’s important we back up last Sunday’s performance this week. We have focused on our attention to detail and we need to produce a performance on both sides of the ball. Effort and energy is a minimum requirement at this club and we expect no different on Sunday, but we have challenged the group to execute the game plan better, give themselves more opportunities with the ball, and therefore be less fatigued when we have it.”
Jordan Bull has been drafted into the squad following Conroy’s loan, yesterday, to Swinton, while fullback Jimmy Watson will undergo a fitness test tonight (Friday) after sustaining a knee injury against Dewsbury.
Hunslet (at Rochdale, Sunday 6 August, 3.00pm), from: Jimmy Watson, Jack Render, Adam Ryder, Joe Burton, Harvey Hallas, Sam Hallas, Steve Crossley, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Aaron York, Michael Knowles, Jordan Syme, Lewis Wray, Fraser Stroud, Spencer Darley, Alfie Goddard, Matty Beharrell, Johnny Campbell, Marcus Green, Myles Lawford, Oli Burton, Jordan Bull.