Selection headache for Wharfedale as resources are stretched

Wharfedale's young hooker Dan Stockdale is well tackled by Rosslyn Park fly half Scott Sneddon last Saturday

Wharfedale's young hooker Dan Stockdale is well tackled by Rosslyn Park fly half Scott Sneddon last Saturday Buy this photo

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Weeklies Sports Editor

Wharfedale are facing a major selection crisis as they prepare for their SSE National League One trip to Coventry.

The situation is so bad that they are struggling to get the three specialist props that are required for the game to go ahead.

And Wharfedale have delayed picking their team until after tonight’s training session to assess the fitness of a number of players.

Skipper Chris Steel aggravated a foot injury in last weekend's 45-3 defeat by Rosslyn Park, which means that Wharfedale are hoping that Adam Howard will be fit to make up their complement of props alongside Neil Dickinson and Jake Armitage.

To add to their woes, hooker Dan Stockdale and second-row Jim Mason are away on skiing trips, while No 8 Rob Baldwin is suspended for having received three yellow cards in one season for foul play.

With lock Richard Rhodes still not fit, Wharfedale’s forward resources will be stretched to the limit.

The versatile Chris Howick is expected to start at hooker as Luke Cole and Ian Larkin are still ruled out.

There are injury problems in the backs too. Tom Davidson is out with a strained hamstring, while full back Dan Scarbrough is struggling with a neck injury.

Coach Jon Feeley said:”It’s not an ideal situation but we can’t go moaning about it - injuries are part of the game.

“We will be taking a good look at the injured players tonight before announcing our team.”

One player who could make his debut is flanker Alex Powell, who joined the club earlier this season.

Wharfedale also have two of their young players due to play for Yorkshire under-20s.

Winger Josh Prell and flanker Josh Burridge have both been selected to play against Lancashire at Sandylands on Sunday 2pm.

When the two sides met earlier in the season Wharfedale defeated Coventry 38-26 at The Avenue.

It will be a tough test for Wharfedale to repeat that success with what looks like being a much-weakened team.

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