Hood to lead Thunder on

Gateshead Thunder Director of Rugby Chris Hood has urged his players to show their worth after a difficult week in the north east.

Gateshead coach Richard Pell and assistant Tim Rumford both left the club this week, leaving Hood to take charge for the rest of the season alongside newly-appointed first team coach Kevin Neighbour.

Hood said: “We’re used to doing it tough – that’s one thing that we do have a lot of experience of.

“The big thing for me is that the players realise they’re only halfway through the season and there are still a lot of games to go.

“They’ve got a huge part to play in how we finish the season. There are a lot of young players here – the majority of our squad is under 23 – and they’ve got to show their ambition and take this opportunity.”

Jason Payne (bruised ribs), Mitchell Stevens (hamstring), Robin Peers (groin) and Ryan Clarke (illness) are all expected to be missing from Gateshead’s team on Sunday.

South Wales Scorpions could name an unchanged team after last week’s 40-20 victory over Oldham.

Director of Rugby Mark Rowley said: “There’s a lot of confidence in the camp, and they’ve done really well in training this week. Everyone wants to play again after a win like that.

Dalton Grant has been really strong and comfortable on the wing for us. He’s deserved his chances recently, while Curtis Cunningham was strong too.

“There are a lot of boys who are sticking their hand up for a place in the side. In terms of selection, I think it’ll be difficult to drop anyone after last week.”

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