TIM RUMFORD has tipped a pair of Heworth ARLC starlets for big futures after they embarked on a trial with Castleford Tigers.

Liam Richmond and Connor Page, both 17, have recently combined playing for the Villagers' open age team with training at the Jungle.

The duo are also being trailed by York City Knights, who have a dual-reg partnership with Cas.

Heworth boss Rumford, a former academy coach with the Tigers, knows how hard it is to win contracts at Cas given the competition in the youth ranks, but believes both youngsters have a chance.

"It's always hard to say," he replied, when asked how far the duo could go in the game.

"Connor has got some work to do athletically but skills are there and his mentality is fantastic.

"Liam is an athlete - tall, rangy and still growing - and he also has a fantastic attitude.

"He's a bit in front because of his athleticism but they're both still young and developing and if they keep their heads down I see no reason why they can't progress."

Richmond and Page are training on two or three evenings a week with Cas' youth ranks. An official four-week trial would begin if and when they sign forms and play an under-19s match.

Added Rumford: "They've got good support networks and an opportunity there training with quality players and coaching staff, which will only benefit them."

Rumford's Heworth side, meanwhile, will hope to get last week's 54-0 defeat at title-chasing Blackbrook out of their systems quickly when they host Crosfields in National Conference League division three.

They had gained only their second win of term in their last home game, against Eastmoor.

Rumford, bemoaning the withdrawal of a few players before last week's game, said: "We got a bit of a hiding at Blackbrook.

"We went with a weakened side as lots of people had work commitments - or a bout of 'Blackbrookitis' or 'Lancashire Elbow', whatever you want to call it.

"I was disappointed with the attitude of one or two. But in the previous weeks we'd showed a lot of improvement and we can draw on our last home game and kick on from there.

"Defence will be a big part of it. We had a 34-14 defeat at Crosfields (two months ago) and it goes without saying if we concede fewer points we're in with a better chance."

Heworth 'A' go to Stanley Rangers 'A' in the Yorkshire Men's League group two

Meanwhile Heworth Under-18s have withdrawn from the York & District U18s Community Cup, leaving York Acorn U18s and New Earswick All Blacks U18s to contest the final on a date and venue to be decided.

The three teams were to play round-robin games with the top two going into the final but Heworth's side -who had lost to All Blacks and struggled to arrange a date for the tie with Acorn due to wet weather, players' academic exams and senior call-ups - have now disbanded given their final season together ended a couple of months ago.

Heworth spokesman Ken Sykes explained: "It's not York & District's fault or anything like that. It's just the timing. Our U18s play a winter season and it's some time since that season ended now, and the team has broken up. Some are playing first or second team. It's just unfortunate."