YORK City Knights boss James Ford as expected will ring the changes for tomorrow’s trip to minnows Hemel Stags – meaning veteran hooker Andy Ellis must wait to make his landmark 350th career outing.

There is a place for Adam Robinson, though, and he will duly make his 250th career appearance.

The alterations come after the humdinger wins over Workington and Oldham, which have put York just 160 minutes away from the Betfred League One title - and the sole automatic promotion spot.

Ford named the same 17 for those two bruising battles – the first time he has kept the same team back-to-back this season – but five of that side will sit this one out, effectively rested ahead of next week's potentially decisive showdown with Whitehaven at Bootham Crescent.

Out go Ellis, top scorer Joe Batchelor, Aussie forward Joel Edwards and Sam Scott.

Notably, included is full-back Matty Marsh, but fellow dual-reg starlet Will Oakes will not be involved having returned to parent club Hull KR for their Super League Qualifiers match against London Broncos.

Both had been expected to be recalled after Rovers lost Adam Quinlan and Justin Carney to injury.

Former York Acorn amateur Matt Chilton will replace Oakes on the wing, while also back are centre Perry Whiteley, hooker Will Jubb, second-row Mike Kelly and big prop Jack Ormondroyd.

The latter, impressive so far on loan from Leeds, was unavailable for the last two games.

Tomorrow’s match will be prop Robinson’s 47th for York since having a four-match loan stint in 2016 and then joining permanently in 2017.

It follows 83 games for Halifax, 15 for Batley, 39 for Dewsbury, 35 for Oldham and 31 for Doncaster, with whom he started his pro career in 2006.

Said Ford: “It’s an outstanding achievement for Adam.

“I’m not sure he will be aware of it but it’s something to be proud of.

“To play 250 games in the middle, playing as he does, it’s a real positive for him, and I’m sure there are plenty more games beyond that.”

On leaving Ellis out, Ford explained: “It was a huge game last week and we needed Andy’s experience and leadership.

“We played him knowing he wasn’t 100 per cent and that he’d be unlikely to feature this week.

“I’m really grateful Andy was willing to put his hand up and play – he’s done so a number of times this year, and we’ve needed him. He’s been great for us.”

On other changes, Ford explained: “Joe Batchelor has come off with 50 tackles and no misses (against Oldham). I know he came up with a couple of (handling) errors but he has contributed hugely to us winning that game.

“He’s played big minutes all season and deserves a rest after his massive efforts.

“We knew if Joel played last week, starting with the injury he had, that he would have to miss this one. I thought he was superb and contributed massively to the win. Jack (Ormondroyd) is not a bad replacement is he.”

Local lad Chilton, meanwhile, gets the nod over Judah Mazive, despite the latter's 16 tries in 18 appearances.

Ford explained: “Judah is available (after injury) just maybe not 100 per cent fit.

“He was very close to being included. He’s had a good first year and has scored plenty of tries and put in some strong performances.

“But, with how we’ve trained, Matt Chilton is deserving of his place. It’s more about what Matty has done rather than what Judah has not done.”

Struggling Hemel are coached by Ford's old mate from Sheffield Eagles, Jack Howieson, and include in their 19-man squad ex-Knights Austin Bell, Paul Stamp and Mark Barlow.

Their director of rugby is York-based former Minster city player Dean Thomas.

Hemel: from Welham, Forde, Richard Williams, A Williams, Parry-Fitzpatrick, Stamp, Smith, Taylor, Barlow, Jowett, Esslemont, Burns, Stock, Michell, Reece Williams, K Williams, Bell, Howieson, Sheriff.

Knights (probable): Marsh, Chilton, Hey, Whiteley, Robson, Cockayne, C Robinson, Ronan Dixon, Jubb, Horne, Jordan-Roberts, Kelly, Spears. Subs: Carter, Ormondroyd, A Robinson, Porter. Stand-by: Batchelor, Hawksworth.