Andrew Henderson seeks first Championship win with York Knights against Bradford Bulls

ANDREW HENDERSON is ready to change channels as he bids for a first win as York coach.

The Knights take on Bradford in front of the Viaplay Sports cameras at the LNER Stadium tonight (Monday, February 13).

Henderson has been a regular pundit since the pay television company, previously known as Premier, began covering the Championship last season.

Indeed he was on duty as Featherstone won 50-0 at Keighley a week ago, the day after York went down 19-12 at home to Widnes in the opening round.

But for this game, the 43-year-old will be focused on his side’s push for two points against buoyant Bradford, who beat Whitehaven 24-8 at Odsal.

Former London Broncos coach Henderson spent last season as head of rugby at Keighley, who were League One champions under coach Rhys Lovegrove.

But ambitious York made their successful move for him in October, after long-serving James Ford left to become assistant to Mark Applegarth at Wakefield.

Henderson, who also had a spell as right-hand man to Steve Price at Warrington, has a five-year contract at York.

He has said it could take time to fully implement his style and structures, but will clearly be keen to get that maiden victory.

Henderson’s squad-building remains ongoing, with teenage Leeds centre Levi Edwards the latest recruit, on a three-year contract.

The 19-year-old Siddal product scored four tries in eleven appearances on loan to York last season, so knows the club well.

However James Cunningham, the halfback or hooker recently signed after playing in Super League for Toulouse, is sidelined by a knee problem.

“We are still a good side without certain players,” said Henderson.

“I’m confident that whoever turns out in whatever position can do the job.”

Bradford are missing Jack Walker, one of a string of high-profile close-season arrivals.

The injury-plagued former Leeds fullback sustained a damaged hamstring just minutes into the Whitehaven clash.

Tom Holmes, brought in from Sheffield, switched from halfback, and could retain the number-one role. 

Coach Mark Dunning handed a debut to former Huddersfield forward Michael Lawrence, his new skipper.

The Jamaica international didn’t feature in any warm-up games after suffering a bout of illness.

“We made a conscious decision to wrap him in cotton wool in pre-season, and I think it was vindicated by his performance against Whitehaven,” he said.

Papua New Guinea back rower Keven Appo, signed after impressing during last autumn’s World Cup, has now arrived at the club.

“He walked in with a great big smile on his face, and I know he’s really happy to be here,” added Dunning.

“He had a long flight, and he’s been catching up on some sleep, but he’s itching to get going, and we’ll assess where he’s at.

“We’ve a duty of care and must ensure he has adjusted to being in this country, but we won’t hold him back.”

York and Bradford came up from League One alongside each other in 2018, and Dunning said: “There’s a healthy and respectful rivalry there.”

York 21-man squad: Matty Marsh, Joe Brown, James Glover, Jesse Dee, AJ Towse, Ata Hingano, Liam Harris, Jon Luke Kirby, Will Jubb, Conor Fitzsimmons, Danny Kirmond, Jordan Thompson, Myles Harrison, Bailey Antrobus, Ronan Michael, Josh Daley, Ben Barnard, Brad Ward, Harry Price, Jack Teanby, Levi Edwards.

Bradford hadn’t named their squad at the time of going to press.