PREVIEW: Knights aim for further progression at Featherstone

Published: 20 January, 2018 - 3:06 pm
Head Coach James Ford has named a strong starting line up for the third game of York City Knights 2018 pre-season programme at Featherstone tomorrow (3pm).
Ash Robson returns from an ankle problem at full-back, and notable new recruits Ben Cockayne, Jake Butler-Fleming, Graeme Horne and Sam Scott are all included. Liam Jackson is included for the first time as a contracted player, and trialists include Matt Chilton, Dan Hawkesworth and former Featherstone winger Tom Saxton. Former Rovers captain Tim Spears now takes up the armband with the Knights.
Looking forward to the test, James Ford said: “We’re facing a top Championship team in Featherstone. They are an exciting, attacking team but they also have plenty of grit in defence and will test us to the max. For us to get the chance to go up against some of the best players in the Championship is going to be fantastic.
“It’s another part of our programme, part of our preparations to be ready for a tough Betfred League 1 campaign.
Asked about his team’s strength, Ford said: “I still don’t know my best 17 yet, so this is an opportunity for the players to impress on me that they deserve a shirt.
“There are areas we need to improve, and I’m looking forward to how we go about it. It will give us a good indication of where we’re at. We’re going to focus on our performance and on continuing to improve through pre-season. As long as we do that, the scoreboard will look after itself.”
Ford told the York Press he was excited to see Australian Jake Butler-Fleming in a York shirt, especially lining up against Rovers’ Samoan star, Misi Taulapapa.
“Jake’s looked a class act in training,” he said. “He’s big, strong and physical out on the edge and has good footwork and skill.
“He could be a fantastic signing for us.
“It will be a real tough test for him against Misi Taulapapa, who is a top, top Championship centre and it will be interesting to see how they go against each other.
“I played against Misi a few years ago and thought he was a really good player, tough and skilful. I’m excited to watch that particular battle.”
Admission at the LD Nutrition Stadium can be gained on Sunday with tickets priced at £10 (adults), £8 (concessions) and £5 (juniors).