STAR centre Kenton Leiataua returns to boost Malton & Norton RUFC’s backline ahead of their derby match with Pocklington in North One East tomorrow.
The Kiwi scored two tries as the seconds crushed Pocklington Panthers last week and the Otago sevens star will now get a crack at the East Yorkshire side’s first XV at The Gannock.
Leiataua is a welcome addition for Malt as they try to regroup following their 61-17 thumping by Huddersfield YMCA last week.
They suffered three injuries in the first half an hour of that match but only Jamie Rounthwaite is expected to miss out on derby day.
Malton spokesman Bill Laidler said: “Pocklington were a very well organised side when we played them early in the season.
“There are no real standout stars. They have dropped off a bit recently. They have been hit by injuries.”
Pocklington have a mixture of some players returning from injury and unavailability and others needing fitness tests, so the club selected a 22-man squad.
Several casualties from last Saturday’s 29-5 victory over struggling Middlesbrough are still undergoing physio, but among the expected returnees are three-quarters Jack Fletcher and Pete Massie, along with lock Dan Wilson, who have all been missing for the past fortnight and add to the competition for places.
York must try to pull themselves out of a mini-slump when Wath-on-Dearne arrive at Clifton Park in Yorkshire One.
Head coach Sean Bass and his squad have endured some tough defeats since the start of the year, losing their last three games and slipping to sixth in the table.
After a 34-18 reverse against promotion-chasing Doncaster Phoenix last time out, the Shipton Road side’s own dreams of ascending to North One East look to be over.
But they can lift themselves ahead of their opponents, who lead York by two points in the standings, with a home victory.
After notching their fifth win of the Yorkshire Four season when beating basement club Hornsea 20-15 last week, York RI visit another struggling side when they go to Hessle.