NEW signing Perry Whiteley will make his bow for York City Knights on Saturday as they travel to whipping boys West Wales Raiders hoping to close the points-difference gap to Bradford Bulls.

The pacy Whiteley, the deadline day recruit from Keighley a fortnight ago, comes in for workaholic centre Brad Hey, who gets a "deserved rest", according to boss James Ford.

Whiteley will be hoping to quickly get off the mark on the try sheet too, given the previous meeting between the sides - that world record 144-0 scoreline at Bootham Crescent at the end of April.

The Knights will hope so, too, given they need another big win to slash Bradford's for-and-against advantage in the two-horse title race - although Ford insists nobody should expect another three-figure romp, especially with the Raiders' stronger line-up on show.

Ford has tweaked his pack again, with most notably a welcome return for on-loan enforcer Colton Roche after injury.

Prop Dan Hawksworth and livewire hooker Harry Carter are also back in, with Ronan Dixon sidelined by a minor hamstring strain, Andy Ellis resting his calf problem and Mike Kelly also making way.

On 25-year-old Whiteley, Ford said: "We signed him to come and play and give us additional options on the edges.

"In training he's looked the part. He's looked really good in attack, he's athletic and runs really good lines.

"The ball is in his court. If he plays and trains well, he will play much more for us."

Hey missed three games in the spring due to a groin strain but has otherwise been an ever-present at centre, putting in big shifts each time.

Explained Ford: "He's needed a rest for a while. Apart from a few games near the start of the season and 20 minutes against Catalans Dragons (in the Challenge Cup fifth round), he's played every minute of every game, including the friendlies and cup games, and he works immensely hard in every one.

"He's worked his socks off all year. He works hard coming out of yardage and he rarely comes up with less than 30 tackles in a game.

"I played centre and 30 is more than I did. To do that every game is immense.

"I've got a real understanding of how hard he works for the team and I respect that and appreciate it.

"I feel he needs a rest and then we will see him at his best for the remainder of the season."

Player/assistant-coach Graeme Horne, who failed a fitness test ahead of last week's win over North Wales, is named in the 19 but won't feature unless he is 100 per cent, while Rory Dixon, who returned from his eight-match loan stint at Hemel Stags at the end of last month, also travels.

The Knights' next three games are much tougher assignments against play-off chasers Hunslet, Workington and Oldham, and Ford said of Horne: "I don't want to play him for half an hour in this game and lose him for the following three.

"We've got a really strong forward pack and some really strong players are not in this 19.

"I want to have selection headaches for positive reasons coming into the last few games."

On Dixon, Ford added: "Rory has come back from Hemel in good shape. It's been good for him to get that run of games and he now wants to get back into our team. He's worked hard and is in the 19 on merit and it will be good for him to spend time with the boys as well."

Captain Tim Spears (knee), Ellis and Ronan Dixon are expected back in full training on Tuesday.

Dual-reg full-back Matty Marsh is also nearing a return to training at parent club Hull KR.

Stragglers West Wales, meanwhile, have struggled to get a full team out in recent weeks, with only 14 players available for last week's home hammering by Hunslet.

However, they will have a much stronger squad this weekend - stronger too than that which turned out at Bootham Crescent - with the likes of Rochdale loanee Callum Mulkeen, goalkicking full-back Lewis Reece on loan from Whitehaven, and Welsh international hooker Connor Farrer, back after a spell on the sidelines, all included in another much-changed line-up.

Raiders (possible): Reece, Claridge, Haile, Lewis, Silver, Williams, Parry, B Phillips, Higgs, A Pope, Kaye, Mulkeen, Elliott. Subs: from Farrer, Kearns, D Phillips, R Pope, Snook, Willacott.

Knights (probable): Chilton, Robson, Batchelor, Whiteley, Mazive, Cockayne, C Robinson, A Robinson, Jubb, Hawksworth, Jordan-Roberts, Scott, Edwards. Subs: from Carter, Roche, Ormondroyd, Porter, Horne, Rory Dixon.