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LOCAL RUGBY LEAGUE: Even Gareth Ellis would have to start in the A team!

Beverley ARLFC welcome Cumbrian outfit Barrow Island to the ER Leisure Centre this Saturday, February 24 (kick off 2.30pm). The game marks Beverley’s return to the National Conference League after an absence of almost 20 years.

It promises to be a special day with a lot going on. A curtain-raiser between Beverley Braves under 13’s and West Hull under 13’s will get under way at 12.15. There will also be an informal re-union of past players with some half-time entertainment thrown in.

Head coach Scott Taylor is not expected to reveal his line-up until Saturday morning but he will still be without full-back Billy Riby (hand injury) and joint captain Jack Howdle (recovering from surgery). However, it is likely that Lewis Straw and Lewis Poskitt will return to their usual half-back partnership, whilst Chris Johnson is likely to return to the front row. Peter Starling looks to be favourite to step into the breach in the problem full-back role.

Speaking ahead of the clash, Taylor issued something of a statement of intent with his players. ” We’ve finally reached the point where even if lads are  training but not performing well and other lads are training in the same position then they will get a shot. In recent years I’ve not been able to do that but now I can. On a similar note, we’ve got lads who have been training since November and performing well in the friendlies and they will be the ones to get the shirt and it will be theirs to lose. If I signed Gareth Ellis tomorrow he would have to go through that process and perform well in a friendly or ‘A’ team game. Amateur or not I am going to stick with what I believe in.’

The Blue & Golds hope spectators will support the club by purchasing the match-day programme, priced at £2, which they believe will be an informative read this season.