Knight Clarke out for a fortnight

Rhys Clarke has been ruled out for the next fortnight after damaging his shoulder in training, York City Knights coach Chris Thorman has confirmed.

Paul King (elbow) faces a late fitness test, but Ed Smith is back available and Laurence Pearce could make his Knights debut.

Thorman is hoping for a better performance than last week’s 30-10 defeat at Dewsbury Rams.

He said: “It was disappointing that we didn’t seem to be up for the game against Dewsbury.

“For whatever reason we started poorly in defence, which was really disappointing. We’ve done a fair bit of work looking at defensive specifics, but we missed too many one-on-one tackles and we didn’t deserve to win the game.”

He added: “Halifax are one of the best teams in this competition. We’ll respect them, but at the same time we have to have a much better attitude and go into it a bit more aggressively.

“It’s our first home league game and we’d like to think we can put in a good performance.”

Halifax pair Dane Manning and Craig Ashall return from suspension, but Steve Tyrer (sternum) appears in doubt.

Fax coach Karl Harrison is preparing his side for the realities of playing at York.

He said: “It brings its own tests because of the side of the field.

“It’s not the biggest playing field, so it will be a very tough battle and we’ll pick a team accordingly.”

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