York City Knights Head Coach Dave Woods will pick from a strong squad for Sundays match against Castleford. Following last weeks defeat at the hand of the Tigers Woods will give first appearances of the season to Dennis Tuffour and Chris Williams, while James Haynes, Mark Barlow, Jonny Presley, Paul Stamp and Duane Straugheir are also in the squad, which will be finalised on Sunday. Dave Sutton will start in the centres and the Knights will also welcome back Ed Smith who will go up against former York Acorn teamate and friend Sam Orange, who has been named in the Castleford lineup. The Knights will also give debuts to exciting young trio Ash Winstanley, Tom Holmes and Kris Brining who signed from the under 16's scholarship last season.
The teams will be playing for the Paul Higgins memorial trophy and the club announced earlier in the week that 20% of the proceeds from the game will be donated to Higgos 13 A Side Rugby Foundation. Paul played for Castleford and also worked on their scholarship programme as well as coaching the Knights Reserve Grade for three years and heading up the North Yorkshire Service Area. Representatives of a number of clubs from the North Yorkshire Service Areas will be attending the game as guests of Higgo's 13 A Side Rugby Foundation, and Heworth and York Acorn Under 13's will face off in a curtain raiser pre match.
Steve Gill, Head of Youth Development at the Tigers, worked with Paul at Castleford and has extremely fond memories of him,
"I was fortunate to see Paul (or unfortunate in age terms) play in 1973 for Castleford's very successful A team and then go on to make his 1st
team debut (I used to do the old scoreboard for all games then for 25p). Paul's height made him stand out from the rest of the guys,and interestingly enough we met up again working on the tigers Scholarship where Paul was coaching the Under 14s. Paul was very flattered when I told him I could remember him playing, and replied he could remember me also, which made me feel proud, until he said 'yeah youre the one that couldn't add up'. We missed Paul when he went to his home town club of York to work with their Academy and Service Area, and I know Rugby League in general miss the big man, with a big heart and a wicked sense of humour, and I feel it is vitally important to honour Paul's name and memory with this ongoing fixture, now in its 3rd year, and how proud we are at the Castleford Tigers to Participate in the Paul Higgins memorial Trophy".
The Tigers have very kindly allowed the Knights to keep the profits from the game each year and Sundays game is sure to be another fantastic match, as it has been for the last two years. Admission to the match is £13 Adults, £10 Concessions (Over 65's & Students with a valid Student Card) and £5 for U16's plus a £2 transfer to seating. Higgo's 13 A Side Rugby Foundation will also be doing a bucket collection and raffle to raise further funds to help support junior Rugby League in North Yorkshire.
Knights Squad from; Haynes, Mole, Tuffour, Winstanley, Sutton, Smith, Straugheir, Carmody, Barlow, Woods, Presley, Stamp, Brining, Stearman, Burns, Williams, Rice, Lewis, Henry Mitchell, Gray, Holmes, Mortimer
Knights v Castleford - Sun 16th Jan, 3pm KO
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