YORK Acorn ARLC are hoping the return of Tim Stubbs to the club will provide a massive boost for a "big three weeks".
He made his debut in last week's win over Millom and, with fellow prop Davey Burns now banned for two games, he could prove a key figure as Acorn go to high-flying Rochdale Mayfield on Saturday.
Acorn boss Scott Rhodes - who has recently pressed for the Knights to allow fringe players to have game-time in the local amateur scene - said: "He's still training with them but comes to us once a week too. It's great. It helps us out - he's a big lump and a good player and he will go well - and it's good for him as he needs to be playing. He has a year or so to go before he gets to pro level but there's no reason why he can't."
Burns is suspended following his red card for punching in the match against Saddleworth. Fellow prop Adam Endersby faces a late test on an ankle, while Andy Gargan, Tom Wilcox-Harrison, Matt Woods and Mike Embleton are also sidelined. Jordan Myers and the experienced Tom Hill will be back involved in a predominantly youthful side.
Acorn are one of only two teams to take points off second-placed Mayfield so far this term, courtesy of a 28-28 draw at Thanet Road in March, and they could do with another positive result to continue their climb up the ladder.
Said Rhodes: "I'm looking at the next three games - Mayfield, Milford and Eccles. It's a big three weeks. If we can get four points, or even six, out of six I think we will be up there in the reckoning come the end of the season.
"Mayfield are a strong side, well coached and tough to break down, but we did well against them at home and were unlucky not to win."