Harrogate boosted by the return of Enslin

Willem Enslin.
Willem Enslin.
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Willem Enslin is back at Harrogate and he returned with a bang to help Mike Aspinall’s outfit dismantle Sandal 35-17 on Saturday.

Enslin was an influential figure in Harrogate’s fourth placed finish in National Two North last year, which also saw the club lift the Yorkshire Cup.

However, the bulky South African number eight had to leave Rudding Lane before Christmas due to work commitments in Canada.

Director of rugby Aspinall revealed the forward returned to England over Christmas due to personal reasons.

“It is great for us to have Willem back,” the coach said. “Willem will keep getting better and get back to full fitness. He was great for us on Saturday. It’s awesome to have him back in.

“We always knew it was going to be tough to replace him and ultimately we couldn’t quite replace his ball carrying skills.”

Forwards Ben Reaveley and Tom Larder will return to the Harrogate squad for tomorrow’s trip to third-placed Stourbridge.

Noel Minikin is unavailable while Danny Matthews remains sidelined through injury.

Meanwhile, Harrogate have found temporary training facilities at Leeds Beckett University.

Standing water had made the pitches at Rudding Lane unplayable.

Gate have had to find inventive places to train over the last month including Follifoot Riding Centre and the car park at their new Rudding Lane base.

Elsewhere, sixth-placed Otley have a tough task at second-placed Sedgley Park while seventh-placed Sandal travel to fifth-placed Leicester Lions.

In North One East, Morley entertain Guisborough following last week’s postponement at Beverley. Morley’s second and development teams host Pool sides in friendlies while the Saxons visit Roundhegians.

In National One, next-to-bottom Wharfedale travel to basement-side Cinderford.

Tomorrow’s selected fixtures:

National 1: Cinderford v Wharfedale.

National 2 North: Leicester Lions v Sandal, Sedgley Park v Otley, Stourbridge v Harrogate.

National 3 North: Cleckheaton v Lymm, Ilkley v Hull.

North 1 East: Morley v Guisborough.

Yorkshire 1: Bradford & Bingley v West Park Leeds, Old Brodleians v Yarnbury, Old Crossleyans v Bradford Salem, Scarborough v Bridlington, York v Selby.

Yorkshire 2: Castleford v Pontefract, Knottingley v West Leeds, Leodiensian v Sheffield Medicals, Moortown v Ripon, Old Grovians v Old Rishworthians, Wath Upon Dearne v Roundhegians.

Yorkshire 3: Aireborough v Bramley Phoenix, Leeds Medics v Wetherby, Leeds Modernians v Goole, Old Otliensians v Harrogate Pythons, Thornensians v Stocksbridge.

Yorkshire 4: Burley v Halifax Vandals, Ossett v Leeds Corinthians, Wensleydale v Hemsworth.

Yorkshire 5: Garforth v Stanley Rodillians, Hallamshire v Wibsey, Thirsk v Knaresborough.