Amateur RL: Conference campaign kicks off with eagerly awaited Leeds derby

New Hunslet Warriors player/coach Caldon Bravo.

New Hunslet Warriors player/coach Caldon Bravo.

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THE NATIONAL Conference season begins tomorrow with a derby showdown between East Leeds and visitors Hunslet Warriors in Division One (2.30pm).

Captain Caldon Bravo has taken over as Warriors’ team boss – after Dean Sampson had to step down due to work commitments – with Damian Mawson coaching from the touchline on match days.

Warriors will be without Chris Hartley, who suffered a badly broken leg in a training accident three weeks ago as he attempted to return from a fractured arm sustained in a game last year.

Johnny Dawson (working) and Dwayne Barker (hamstring) are also unavailable.

Easts are close to full-strength, with only long-term casualty Tom Sheldrake ruled out.

Easts are aiming to bounce back at the first attempt after being relegated last season.

Also in Division One, Matty Bullough is another relegated team Oulton Raiders’ only absentee for the short tip to Normanton Knights (2.30pm)

Raiders’ ‘A’ team are also away to Normanton (1pm) and the women’s side visit Thornhill (2pm).

Former BARLA player of the year Robin Wilkes will make his debut for Milford Marlins away to Millom.

Marlins have high hopes for brothers Eddie and Tom Wilson and Andy and James Barker in the pack, along with Tom Barnes and Matthew Brocksom, who impressed in pre-season.