A QUINTET of big guns will be back for York City Knights on Sunday as they look to continue their title push against a Doncaster side with promotion hopes of their own.

Skipper Tim Spears, former Championship Man of Steel Andy Ellis and ex-Super League prop Graeme Horne all return to the pack as James Ford’s team seek a fifth consecutive Betfred League One win.

Huddersfield Giant loanee Colton Roche is also back in the bulldozing ranks after recovering from a groin problem.

And playmaker Connor Robinson, the division’s top points-scorer, is fit to play, after missing last week’s win over Newcastle with concussion – when a much-changed team repelled pressure aplenty before sealing the spoils.

Head coach James Ford said: “They’re quality players with lots of experience. It’s great to have them back.”

Asked if the forward quintet were all first-choice packmen, despite the form of those dropping out, Ford said: “On paper and on reputations they might be first choice - but you don’t play on paper.

“I have confidence in all the players in the squad.“

Robinson will re-form a half-back partnership with dual-reg Hull KR starlet Matty Marsh – a partnership which was arguably Ford’s first-choice pairing at the start of term but has only been seen four times so far.

Marsh’s availability for a second successive week means Ben Cockayne, so admirable at stand-off during the Knights’ surge to second place in the table, reverts to full-back, which in turn sees Ash Robson, man of the match last week in his favoured number one role, go back onto the wing.

Will Oakes, the in-form dual-reg winger from Hull KR, is not involved this week.

Two other DR men are included though – forwards Jordan Walne and Josh Johnson both set for fifth appearances for York which will make them eligible to play in the last third of the season and the play-offs.

Marsh and Oakes are already eligible, while full-back Will Dagger needs one more appearance, with only one more fixture – next week’s trip to London Skolars – to come before the cut-off point.

Ford has “rotated” his front row with old stager Adam Robinson rested and relative young guns Dan Hawksworth and Ronan Dixon also omitted. Hawksworth is likely to be 18th man.

Ford admitted having “tough” selection decisions, and, referring to the displays of Dixon and Hawksworth against Newcastle, said: “It was the first time they’ve started together. Things were a bit loose and a bit quick at times but they were under the pump and got through it. They will be better for that, with the more experience they get.

“I was really pleased with the mental qualities they displayed under pressure.

“Both of them are aware they need to continue to improve, and they both have great attitudes and they will do.”

He added: “Both have done well but there were indicators that we needed to refresh things up and we have done.”

Knights (probable): Cockayne, Robson, Hey, Batchelor, Mazive, C Robinson, Marsh, Walne, Ellis, Johnson, Kelly, Scott, Spears. Subs: Carter, Horne, Roche, Porter. Stand-by: Hawksworth, Jubb.