Stankevitch to blood new faces

Rochdale Hornets coach John Stankevitch could include three new signings for Sunday’s Co-operative Championship One showdown with London Skolars.

Wayne McHugh, Danny Ekis and local amateur player Mark Biggins could all be included in the Hornets’ line up.

Stankevitch said: “I’m definitely going to be making some changes for this week’s game, but that’s in no way disrespectful to London.

“They’re playing good stuff and if we turn up with the same attitude as last week, then we’ll get beat.”

The Rochdale coach was particularly unimpressed with his side’s defensive effort against Swinton last week.

“Defensively we were appalling,” he said. “To concede 46 points is bad enough anyway, but to do that at home when our home record was fantastic last year was a bit of a kick in the teeth for me.

“We’ve worked really hard on defence, looking at things like structure and other areas we fell down on last year, and everything we’d done in pre-season had been working very well.

“But the individual defensive one on ones were shocking on Sunday. We showed a complete lack of commitment.”

On London, he added: “They look a lot more organised this year, but they beat us down there last year anyway. If you turn up and you’re not prepared against any team in this division then you’re going to get beat.

“They’ve got some decent players – I particularly like Sam Gee – and they’re coming up with some decent stuff.”

Craig Ashall (knee) is struggling for Rochdale, while Dean Gorton (ribs) is also expected to miss out.

Skolars could name an unchanged line up from the team that lost 42-22 against Doncaster last week.

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