HUNSLET – who, despite several injury setbacks, showed a great deal of resilience in last Sunday’s reverse at the hands of Swinton Lions – can call on several returning players for Saturday’s intriguing Betfred League One trip to West Wales Raiders.
Winger Kiedan Hartley is again available after completing his suspension, halfback Dave Gibbons and hooker Cam Berry have recovered from shoulder injuries and forward Matty Stableford is fit again after having been sidelined with a leg injury. Hunslet will, however, be without five players who were injured against Swinton. Captain Duane Straugheir is expected to take six weeks to recover from a broken arm, Ethan O’Hanlon is sidelined for a week under concussion protocols, Joe Summers has a knee injury and will be out for an as-yet unspecified period, Jacob Doyle will be absent for a fortnight (hamstring) and loan man Daniel Okoro broke his wrist and could be out for some time.
In addition, Jason Mossop missed the Swinton game with a groin tear and is sidelined for an unspecified period while Liam Carr, who was one of several players who had a run-out with Leeds Rhinos Reserves against Castleford Tigers last week, sustained ankle ligament damage in the fixture and is another Parksider who will be out for an as-yet unknown number of weeks.
The Raiders are likely to be in buoyant mood, having registered their first victory since beating Coventry Bears in July 2019 with the remarkable 20-0 win at Cornwall last Sunday, and Hunslet’s
Head Coach Alan Kilshaw said: “Although we have had a number of injury blows this presents opportunities to other players who have been training well. We had seven lads (Hartley, Aaron Jones-Bishop, Jack Mallinson, Berry, Carr, Charley Bodman and Jacob Beer) getting some valuable game-time for the Rhinos reserve team last Saturday, while the return of Gibbons and Stableford gives us options and offsets some of the players who have been ruled out.
“These are the challenges we enjoy – the travel, and having a number of senior players out – and we are expecting to play a side with some more confidence on the back of their impressive win at Cornwall last time out. We will prepare diligently and ensure we produce a performance at the weekend; these are the challenges we play Rugby League for.”
Hunslet (at West Wales Raiders, Saturday, 3.00pm). From: Jimmy Watson, Wayne Reittie, Jack Render, Kiedan Hartley, Dave Gibbons, Jack Mallinson, Harvey Hallas, Harvey Whiteley, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Jordan Syme, Cam Berry, Matty Stableford, Jordan Paga, Joe Sanderson, Aaron Jones-Bishop, Jordan Beer, Charley Bodman, Connor Moore (loan), Kieran Moran, Oli Burton (loan), Cole Oakley (loan).