Hunslet have confirmed their 21-man squad for Saturday’s Betfred League One fixture at North Wales Crusaders.
The Parksiders, who are seeking a fourth successive win, will be without captain Duane Straugheir (arm) and fullback Jimmy Watson (hamstring tendon sprain) both of whom picked up injures in last Sunday’s 43-16 victory over London Skolars, while threequarter Jacob Doyle is also ruled out; halfback Pat Walker and winger Wayne Reittie, who were unfit for the Skolars fixture, are not quite ready, yet, for action.
Second row Josh Jordan-Roberts and halfback Fraser Stroud, meanwhile, are suspended while winger Kiedan Hartley and Richard Wilkinson are unavailable indefinitely because of work commitments.
However, Hunslet have been boosted by the return to fitness of forwards Ethan O’Hanlon and Kieran Moran, plus halfback Joe Sanderson, while winger/fullback Josh Milthorpe has been snapped up on loan from Batley until the end of the season.
Head coach Alan Kilshaw said: “Last week’s win came at a cost, with season-ending injuries to two senior players being a blow. Straugh hasn’t had much luck this year while Jimmy had been an ever-present after his long lay-off last season. We feel for them, and the group will support them.”
He continued: “Doyle’s knee has flared up following the Skolars game, which will keep him out for a few weeks, and we have also had setbacks with Reittie’s and Walker’s rehabilitations. Both have manual jobs in the building trade, which isn’t helping their recoveries from, respectively, hamstring and back injuries. We have therefore made decisions to keep them on rehab programmes until after our pending week off, which follows the Midlands Hurricanes game at the end of July. That should help ensure, without any more disruption, their fitness for the back end of the campaign.”
`Killer’ revealed: “We have had some positive news on the injury front with Sanderson, O’Hanlon and Moran all returning to training this week; we will see how they pull up before making a decision on the side for Saturday. And the work we have done in the market in the last few weeks has added depth to the group, which is evident in the squad we are able to select this weekend, despite the numbers of players we don’t have available.”
He concluded: “We have faced adversity all season. No teams are without their selection problems at this stage of the year, but you won’t get any excuses or explanations from this group, as one player’s misfortune is another opportunity for the next man up. We have practiced well and the players know the challenge that awaits them and what effort is needed to produce a performance against, in North Wales Crusaders, a very good side. There are no excuses from us not to perform this week – the squad is ready.”
Hunslet (at North Wales Crusaders, Stadiwm CSM, Conwy, 5.30pm) from: Jack Render, Jason Mossop, Harvey Hallas, Harvey Whiteley, Joe Summers, Jordan Syme, Cam Berry, Ethan O’Hanlon, Matty Stableford, Jordan Paga, Liam Carr, Macauley Hallett, Joe Sanderson, Kieran Moran, Oli Burton, Sion Jones, together with loan signings Matty Beharrell, Ross Peltier, Joe Hird, Mackenzie Turner and Josh Milthorpe.
The game is the last of a triple-header organised by the Wales RL. Conwy Celts meet Flintshire Falcons at 11.00am in the Clecs Media North Wales Grand Final while, at 2.00pm, Wales Under 16s meet Cumbria Under 16s.
Admission for the day’s entertainment is £12 (£10 concessions, under 16s free). Hospitality packages are £45.