BRADFORD Salem have been boosted by the return of Christian Baines for their Yorkshire Division One derby at home to Keighley tomorrow.

The powerful No 8, whose presence will give the hosts some much-needed bulk on what is sure to be a heavy pitch, has been out since facing North Ribblesdale on November 4 when he broke an ankle.

Salem fielded what was a strong side on paper at Keighley in September, but ended up losing 46-3.

The Heaton club’s first-team manager Neil Klenk said: “We were chasing the game and conceded a breakaway try and an interception try, and it didn’t feel like a 46-3 match, although Keighley were definitely the better team.

“But we feel like we paid for putting out a side that weren’t used to playing with each other. However, we feel that tomorrow is a winnable game.”

Although Keighley are eighth in the table with 28 points, three places higher than Salem who have 20 points, the teams have passed each other five times in the table this season.

Salem are without Ryan Smith (unavailable), with Danny Belcher stepping in at full back, and prop John Bradbury (family reasons), but have Sam Savage returning for the first time since the beginning of last season following a knee reconstruction, and also have Dan Scarbrough available.

Tomorrow is the first course of a challenging month for Keighley.

Their other fixtures in January are home games against Old Brodleians (January 13), who are currently fifth, and Beverley (January 27), currently fourth, with another derby at Heath, who are third at the moment, on January 20.

“It will be an interesting one tomorrow,” said former Salem skipper James Cunliffe, who is now player-coach at Keighley, who are without another former Shay Laner in Dan Snowden.

Bradford Salem (home to Keighley) from: D Belcher; D Scarbrough, S Savage, H Hall, C Wood, J Abram, A Robinson, M Booth, C Armstrong, J Simpson; W Collins, T O’Sullivan, A Veitch, G Griekis, B Whitaker, J Morrell, S Gardner, C Watson, M Darragh, C Manchester, N Fontaine, C Baines.