GARY THORNTON was leaving it late to decide his York City Knights line-up for Sunday’s final friendly – but the starting 13 could well provide clues to his first-choice team.

The Knights meet a York Select XIII made up of leading local amateurs at Huntington Stadium (3pm).

It is their fourth pre-season outing and head coach Thornton was wary of over-playing some of his charges ahead of the Championship One kick-off at home to Gloucestershire All Golds on March 2.

With only one team to go up through promotion play-offs at the end of the season, form and fitness is more important later than now.

However, having been unable so far to get all of his big guns on the pitch at the same time, with new signing Iain Morrison and fit-again Jason Golden yet to play at all, he may field his strongest team for at least part of their last practice run-out.

He explained: “I’m conscious that some of the guys have already played a lot of game-time. Jake Joynt and Ryan Mallinder, for example, have played all three games.

“While it would be great to go with the strongest side, we’ve got to be careful about the minutes they’ve played. I don’t want to over-play anyone.

“Our ultimate aim is to have everyone fresh and peaking come September.

“But they all want to play and we also have some players who need a run. James Ford will get another run and Iain Morrison, Jason Golden and Lee Paterson will come in. We’ll see but we might start with potentially our strongest side.”

Admission on Sunday is a cut-price £10 for adults, £5 for concessions, £4 for under-16s and free for U5s.