Neil Spence might need tin helmet on his return to Wagon Lane

Old Crossleyans head coach Neil Spence (foreground) will be reunited with his former Bees pack colleague Ronnie Kelly (background), who is now forwards' coach at Wagon Lane

Old Crossleyans head coach Neil Spence (foreground) will be reunited with his former Bees pack colleague Ronnie Kelly (background), who is now forwards' coach at Wagon Lane

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Sports Reporter

Saturday's Yorkshire Cup tie between Bradford & Bingley and Old Crossleyans brings a familiar face back to Wagon Lane.

The Halifax club’s head coach is former Bees flanker Neil Spence, who has Premiership playing experience with Rotherham and has also featured for Harrogate, Hull, Otley and Ilkley, among others.

“It will be nice to see him again,” said Bees’ first-team manager Benji Pickin of the 37-year-old, “although I might throw one or two things at him from our dug-out!”

Pickin added: “We won’t be playing any of our first-team squad who are carrying knocks as every SSE National League Three North game between now and the end of the season will be vital in our bid to stay up.

“However, one or two of our young players have been playing really well for the second team so maybe Henry Paul will give them a chance.”

Cleckheaton have rested their much-vaunted back row for their tie at home to Sheffield.

Club fixture secretary Alan Bentley said: “Rob Afoa Peterson and Ollie Akroyd are resting knocks, as is full back Ross Hayden, while Richard Piper just needs a rest.”

Alex Dawson and Grant Turton, who normally rotate second-row berths, both start, with Ryan Piercy switching to the back row to partner youngsters Jack Seddon and Josh White.

Keiron Downes is set for a debut at full back in Hayden’s place, with Bentley adding: “The core of the team (ten players) will be starting against opponents who we beat 52-5 in the league at Moorend three weekends ago.”

Cleckheaton (home to Sheffield): K Downes; M Woodhead, J Wilson, Matt Piper, James Marshall; Michael Piper, J Bickerdike; P Turner, B Thrower A Piper, A Dawson, G Turton, R Piercy, J White, J Seddon. Replacements (from): C Piper, J Crowther, M Beasty, R Bennett, C Blackburn, O Depledge, J Toulson.

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