YORK IRONSIDES player-coach Brendan Carlyle reckons he has a squad good enough to win the York International 9s this weekend.

Carlyle - player-coach of Heworth ARLC, where the tournament will be played tomorrow and Sunday - announced his line-up last night and in it is a mixture of youth and experience, with pace throughout the side.

As revealed by the Press on Tuesday, ex-York Wasps hooker Alan Pallister will captain the side, and there is professional experience elsewhere in the 15 in the shape of Carlyle himself, a former pro with Wasps and Batley, and Hunslet Hawks' forward Dan Briggs.

Peter Fox, who has starred for Leeds Rhinos Under-21s this season and was one of the best players of the 2002 York 9s, is again involved, along with York Acorn's Johnny Waldron, who is on trial at Hull KR, and Heworth forward Carl Barrow, who is on trial with Hull FC Under-23s. Heworth's Sam Clarke, who has played for York City Knights this season, is also included.

Only one other player from Acorn, Stephen Waldron, is in the 15. However, the Evening Press can reveal that the number of players selected from the Thanet Road club has been restricted because several will be attending the wedding of Acorn assistant coach Paul Lumby tomorrow.

The bulk of the squad are made up of Heworth players, with Jamie Rhodes - brother of York City Knights star Scott - and Steve Perks joining Pallister as representatives from New Earswick All Blacks.

"We went to the semi-finals last time and although the tournament will be more competitive this year I think we will do pretty well," said Carlyle, whose co-coach will be Phil Sturdy, his joint player-coach at Heworth last year.

"With the experience we've got and with the young lads in there, we've got a lot of know-how and pace. Hopefully we will go that bit further than last year."

Ironsides squad: Brendan Carlyle, Marcus Allan, Nathan Witty, Carl Potter, Sam Clarke, Steve Barnard, Carl Barrow, Wayne Foster (all Heworth), Dan Briggs (Hunslet Hawks), Peter Fox (Leeds Rhinos), Johnny Waldron, Stephen Waldron (both York Acorn), Steve Perks, Jamie Rhodes, Alan Pallister (capt) (all New Earswick All Blacks).

Updated: 12:26 Friday, June 20, 2003