IT is derby day at Copley tomorrow (3.0) with Old Rishworthians and Halifax Vandals resuming league rivalry after a season’s gap.
Rishworthians have returned to Yorkshire Three, after a torrid season in the section above, and they have shown much better form than their Warley rivals so far.
Rishworthians are fourth, after notching a fourth win in six outings with a 34-6 success at Old Modernians six days ago,
Vandals are bottom, having failed to gain a second win when beaten 30-20 at home by Bramley Phoenix in their latest contest.
However, form is not always an accurate guide to this fixture.
Aaron Canning returned to Rishworthians last week after a brief spell with Halifax. He popped up to score two interception tries and is likely to be a key player for them.
The Copley men keep virtually the same squad that won convincingly at Modernians. With Max Prashad injured, Jioti Bakoso, who was outstanding last week, moves into the second row and Lance Hamilton returns at No 8.
Also returning are centre James Walker and forward Ryan Mudd.
Left winger Nick Faulkner came off the bench to score a try last Saturday and keeps his place.
The Vandals continue to struggle with injuries and unavailability.
Several players remain sidelined and although selection has been frustrating over the last few weeks, coach Chris Davis believes the players have shown no lack of motivation and that their collective spirit will serve them well tomorrow.
Captain Andy Murray is back to lead the team in the front row, so last week’s man of the match Liam Blue moves back to second row.
Veteran forward Andy Hoyle adds his experience to the pack at blind side and Liam McDonald gets the nod at open side ahead of Gary Whitaker, who has a slight leg strain.
Matt Farrar retains the nine jersey while Shane Lewis returns from holiday to partner Luke Sutcliffe in the centre.
Vandals seconds host their Rishworthians rivals at Warley.
Halifax’s home trophy test
HALIFAX have selected an unchanged starting 15 for tomorrow’s home Yorkshire Silver Trophy fixture against fellow Yorkshire Four club Old Otliensians.
Ian Clarke’s side drew 13-13 with visitors Old Grovians last Saturday and will need to show similar defensive steel from the likes of Nick Elvidge if they are to reach the second round for the first time in several years.
Halifax led 13-0 at half time last week but their second half performance was not up to their recent standards.
If the forwards can supply possession in the set piece, the backs are playing with confidence and will look to the speed of Toby Turner, John Robertson and Nick Bell to exploit the space and any weakness in the opposition backline.
The replacements have been rotated and stepping up from the Dukes are Iain Morris, Craig Smith, Ben Ogden and Ben Maxwell, who made his Yorkshire under 19s debut last Sunday.
Halifax Dukes are play Old Crossleyans seconds in a friendly at Broomfield (3.0).