Nottingham Outlaws play their first home fixture in the Yorkshire Premier Division on Saturday when they entertain Doncaster outfit Bentley at Highfields (kick off 2.30pm).
They do so on the back of a heave defeat at Siddal last week so they will be hoping that home advantage will see them competing much more closely than last time out. Indeed it is going to be an interesting clash of styles against a Bentley team that is renowned for its big forwards and direct style compared to a Siddal side last week who tended to move the ball out wide at every opportunity.
The Outlaws go into the match with a side showing a host of changes to the one that travelled up to Yorkshire last Saturday. Some of the alterations have been enforced by injury, others by the return of more familiar faces. In total the seventeen man squad sees no fewer than seven new faces appear on the team sheet!
The most eye-catching attention was in the halves where Mitch O’Brien makes his debut alongside veteran player coach George Strachan. Indeed the wily coach was quick to highlight this shock pairing adding “’Mitch O’Brien has been with us throughout preseason and with injuries gets a chance at six a bit earlier than I thought but I know he’s excited about getting into it. I’ll be partnering him in the halves so it’s a bit of an odd couple really with me on my 200th appearance and him on debut”
The side also shows a number of changes in the backs with a new centre partnership as powerhouse Jimmy Goodwin teams up with try scoring machine Nathan Hill allowing Sam Campbell to return to his more usual wing position.
In terms of overall playing form, coach Strachan announced that he was looking for a big improvement from his charges compared to last week’s showing, adding “from discussions among the players I’m expecting a bit of a reaction after last week where we played a bit dumb and didn’t give ourselves a chance. We need more discipline and direction with the ball so we get the best out of each other”
1. Adam Cunliffe, 2. Sam Campbell, 3. Jimmy Goodwin, 4. Nathan Hill, 5. Chris Parr, 6. Mitchell O’Brien, 7. George Strachan, 8. Alex Wright, 9. Chris Prime, 10. William Ephraim, 11. Oliver Dale, 12. Coryn Ward, 13. Jay Moriarty, 14. Sam Andrews, 15. Dave Challenger, 16. Daniel Crabtree, 17. Stewart Readhead