Yorkshire Carnegie's fringe players get the chance to impress
Yorkshire Carnegie head coach Bryan Redpath says he wants to give all his squad who are out of contract this summer the best possible chance to prove their worth.
Winger Oli Goss and No8 Jarrad Williams are two players who get rare opportunities to shine tomorrow after they were drafted into the starting XV for the British & Irish Cup tie against Munster A at Huddersfield RUFC.
Ironically enough, they will be on familiar territory having played for National Two North club Huddersfield on loan in recent weeks.
Redpath feels that sort of experience is crucial for players who have had limited game-time for the side that is currently third in the Championship.
Goss is making his first Carnegie appearance of the season while Williams features for the first time since the away B&I Cup fixture with Munster A in November.
Redpath had as many as 36 first-team players training this week, illustrating his squad depth, and he said: “I understand players need to play.
“But when they have a chance and have had no game-time before it’s quite difficult to judge them on a 20 minute or 60 minutes display if it’s their first game in two months.
“A lot of players are out of contract this year and so need to play to show what they can do.
“By going out on loan it means at least they have had some rugby before coming back here and it’s not rustiness.”
Former Doncaster Knights winger Goss, 28, is keen to make his mark as group leaders Carnegie seek to take command of the pool, currently being just one point ahead of their Irish visitors.
Redpath added: “Oli has missed lot of rugby this year and needed to play some games as the boys in his position have been playing well whether it’s Doc (David Doherty), Taylor (Prell) Seb (Stegmann) or Jonah (Holmes).
“Jarrad is the same and, ultimately, people need to play a bit for confidence and there’s less pressure (at Huddersfield) while we want to support as many local clubs as we can.”
Carnegie are seeking a fifth successive win in all competitions but only three players who started in their last win, the Championship success against Ealing a fortnight ago, are named tomorrow.
David Doherty keeps his place on the wing and Taylor Prell starts but moves from out wide to full-back.
Up front, Andy Saull will once again start at openside and will captain the team.
Max Green, who has made just two appearances this season, is the starting scrum-half and Joel Hodgson comes in at fly-half for Kevin Sinfield, who is among the replacements.
Andy Forsyth and Tom Casson come in at centre, Tom Ryder makes his first appearance since the fixture at Ospreys Premiership Select and hooker Joe Graham – after his recent ban – makes only his fourth appearance of the campaign and his first since Munster A away.
Fellow hooker Jack Walker hopes to be back from knee surgery next weekend and will attend the England Under-20s camp this week.
Carnegie, meanwhile, have been training at West Park Leeds’ ground due to their Kirkstall training base being extensively damaged by the floods.