Preview: Hunslet v Gateshead

Hawks coach Paul March will add extra power to his bench for Sunday’s Co-operative Championship One opener.

March explained: “I’ve carried a hooker on the bench in most games I’ve coached but this week I’m looking to carry an extra forward and give Chappy (Richard Chapman) most of the 80 minutes.

“It’s a new idea for us, seeing how we can cope with just one hooker out there. It’s about our performance and if we keep putting something right each week then we’re heading in the right direction.”

Steve Dooler will take Tom Haughey’s place in the starting line up, with Haughey dropping to the bench and Gareth Firm missing out.

Gateshead are likely to give a debut to 18-year-old hooker Reece Young after the north east product impressed Chris Hood in training.

Hood said: “Reece has been going great guns. He’s only 18 but if you ever wanted proof of the statement that you’re good enough, you’re old enough, then he’s it.

“Playing first team is the next part of his progression. He’s got a big future in the game for Gateshead Thunder. He’s a brilliant, brilliant talent.”

ood added: “Training has been fantastic over the past week. At times it’s been ferocious and the lads have taken themselves to a different level to try to improve their performances and the club’s. The only goal we’ve set initially is to get the minus six points back as quickly as possible.”

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