NOT surprisingly there are several derbies tomorrow to get the rugby union league season rolling.

Apart from Wharfedale v Otley in National League Two North, there is Keighley v Bradford Salem in Yorkshire Division One and Old Grovians v Yarnbury in Yorkshire Division Two.

This could be the season where Salem benefit from the seeds that (self-appointed) junior chairman Simon Markey planted nine years ago start to bear fruit.

“We had about 10 or 15 players at that first under-nine session,” remembers Markey, “and now we are running colts, 15s, 12s, 11s, 10s, nines and minis and expect to have 90 to 100 junior players registered.”

Salem’s head coach Neil Spence said: “I would like to think that we can finish in mid-table and not be in a dogfight against relegation.

“It would be great to get promoted but I don’t see us getting promoted and surviving in the division above, but the great thing for me is that we have so many 17 and 18-year-olds coming through who we can slowly get into the team – such as Morgan Mirzaali and Harley Robertshaw.

“This is the benefit of what Simon Markey has brought through. We planned as a club on having that production line of people playing for the club for the right reasons and being the heart of the club and we are eventually reaping the rewards of that junior section.”

Salem, who are selecting from 24, could have as many as eight debutants – Ed Cook, Mirzaali, Tamati Moana-Orupe, former Bull Glenn Morrison, Jack Payne, Robertshaw, Matty Veremulua and former Keighley RU player Marco Ferrazzano, who has played rugby league for Italy.

Bradford & Bingley, who won 31-7 at Salem last Saturday in their final pre-season friendly, are at home to Percy Park in North One East, and Bees head coach Hugh Gumbs says: “We finished seventh last season year and lost our first four games.

“We have a really hard start with Percy Park and then we have Huddersfield YMCA and Moortown.

“Last season everybody was beating everybody, apart from us, in those first four games and we were then able to put together a long string of victories.

“After those first four or five games we will have an idea of how the league will look, but I think that what we have in our pack and what we have in the backs we will be in the mix.”

Gumbs is trying to get away from the first XV squad having guaranteed starting places.

He explained: “The idea is this year that we have a squad of players rather than a favoured group of players, which is great for competition as they will have to perform on the day.

“It is great to have that dilemma. We didn’t have that strength in depth last season and the season before and players have walked their way into the side, which won’t happen this season.”

Cleckheaton, who have had a good pre-season for a change said player-coach Thiu Barnard, finished off with a 39-19 away win over a Sandal XV last weekend.

The Moorenders have a tough start, however, at home to 2018-19 North One East runners-up Scarborough.

Old Grovians, hampered by cricket calls and holidays, have, in the words of coach Andy Hinchliffe, “a strong squad but not as strong as we would like” to face Yarnbury.

On the bench is Matt Ryan, who could be facing his old club.

Yorkshire Division Four champions Wibsey start life in Yorkshire Division Three with an interesting home match against Castleford, who were fifth last season.

“They will throw the ball around a bit so I am expecting quite an open game,” said Wibsey’s player-coach Andy Robinson, who is at scrum half.

The hosts are missing Elliot Cousins and Scott Smith due to suspension but include Ryan Smith at full back, Adam Jefferson in the centres and Harry Hall at fly-half.

Baildon begin at Halifax Vandals.

Cleckheaton (home to Scarborough): J Wilson; J Marshall, O Depledge, Matt Piper, M Hayward; D Breakwell, T Breakwell; N Jackson, B Thrower, A Piper, R Piercy, J Plunkett, B Marsden, J Seddon, J Carley. Replacements: J Crabtree, T Austin, H Iwanejko.

Bradford Salem (at Keighley) from: J Ashworth, D Bailey, C Baines, L Barker, M Bokiss, J Callender, C Clough, E Cook, S Dunn, M Ferrazzano, N Fontaine, J Green, R Green, C Malarkey, M Mirzaali, T Moana-Orupe, G Morrison, J Payne, D Pearson, H Robertshaw, D Scarbrough, B Scholefield, M Trueman, M Veremalua.

Old Grovians (home to Yarnbury): M Kennedy; T Stearn, A Griffin, G Phillips, M Mitchell; A Masterson, B Brown; A Crookes, J Neal, J Garforth, S Dodd, T Thorpe, J Johnstone, H Hardy, D Secker. Replacements: N Honey, L Harrison, T Lenton.

Wibsey (home to Castleford): R Smith; B Mpofu, R Moore, A Jefferson, J Payton; H Hall, A Robinson; A Cerson, J Brown, J Bradbury, D Wilkinson, J Tordoff, M Darragh, M Kite, L Wilson. Replacements: R Simpson, S Birkbeck, A Rose, S Taylor, J Fieldhouse.