Preview: Cockayne to Captain Knights in his testimonial
Former Hull KR stars Ben Cockayne and Graeme Horne are set to make their York City Knights debuts against their old club this Sunday in the trip to KCOM Craven Park for Cockayne’s testimonial.
Andy Ellis, Adam Robinson and Joe Porter are also due to feature in the second of York’s four pre-season games, as preparations are stepped up ahead of the huge League 1 round 1 game against Bradford Bulls next month. Trialists Tom Saxton, Matt Chilton, Liam Jackson and Dan Hawkesworth will also look to impress Head Coach James Ford.
Ben Cockayne will captain the Knights from the familiar position of full back on his big day, as Ash Robson sits the game out with a minor injury. Jake Normington also misses the game with a virus, and Australian Jake Butler-Fleming waits for his first appearance, having only arrived in the country a few days ago.
Ford said: “Playing Hull KR at KCOM Craven Park is a fantastic opportunity for us to test ourselves at the home of Super League quality opposition.
“The boys will be looking to continue their progression through this challenging pre-season programme and hopefully we can put on a show for the fans.
“It should be a really good occasion for Ben and we will look to play our part in a testimonial event that his career truly deserves. He is obviously still very highly regarded at Hull KR and rightly so.
“Hopefully fans of both York and Hull KR turn out in numbers and make it a real special occasion for him.”
Commenting on the game, Cockayne said: “To have my testimonial game against Rovers for my new Club York is the perfect fit for me and both clubs. It gives the Rovers fans opportunity to see the partner club and its players and also gives York fans the opportunity to come along and see their partner club and some potential players who may well be at York on dual reg in 2018.
“I think it also gives the clubs as a whole from fans, players and staff to strengthen the bond and connection and I’m really looking forward to the occasion. Although it may be strange lining up against Rovers it’s a day that I’m already looking forward to – I’m honoured to wear the captain’s armband too.
“I think it will be a great challenge for us boys at York to play against quality opposition and I also think it’ll be a great challenge for a strong Rovers team and a great start to 2018 for both clubs.
“They’re going to go as strong as they can with what they’ve got available and I think that’s a very generous gesture from (Hull KR boss) Tim Sheens.
“I will try to enjoy it. All the lads from both teams will treat it very seriously but I want to enjoy the occasion and hopefully play with a smile on my face.
“As always your support is very much appreciated and I look forward to running out at Craven Park in what will most likely be my last ever time as a player.”
Cash turnstiles are on operation for the game, with entry priced at just £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £5 for kids under 16.