SCOTT RHODES says that his Heworth ARLFC side will not fear any team that are pitted against in the NCL’s new regionalised group format, no matter what their division.

Heworth’s season in the National Conference League division three was halted in mid-March after just two matches.

The Villagers began their campaign with a 50-12 thrashing of Askam, who were relegated from division two last year, at Elmway Park in round one.

Rhodes' side then battled to a hard-fought 6-6 draw away to Oldham St Annes.

The coronavirus pandemic has meant that the NCL regular season has come to an end, though a series of regionalised group fixtures will instead be played..

As yet, the specifics of the format have not been publicly laid out and neither has a start date.

Whoever Heworth are drawn against, Rhodes has confidence in his group of players.

“I’ve got a good side down at Heworth and we would not fear playing anybody, that’s the honest truth," said former Scotland international and York City Knights half-back Rhodes.

“Whether they play in the premier (division), or division one, two or three.

“If it came to it, and we had to play a team from either division one or the premier division, it would be a good gage for us and a good test for us.

“It would show us where we are at as a team to play against those sides.

“If that is the case, then we’ll prepare for that and go into each game like we always do and try and get the win."

The NCL's plan will local derbies played in order to generate some much-needed funds given the absence in matches.

That could see Heworth take on local rivals York Acorn.

“That’s the game that’s on everybody’s lips at the minute," added Rhodes.

“If it is York Acorn, then it’s York Acorn, let’s get it on.

“And, if we cannot get it on in the cup competition, lets do something for charity.

“It’s a big game, it will be a big draw and it’ll get a big crowd.

“If that’s the game, then great. Lets see where they’re really at and where we’re at.

“Everybody loves a local derby don’t they as well?

“I’m up for it.”

Rhodes remains in regular contact with the players and says that their competitive spirit on the field has been transferred to their group chats.

“At the moment, there’s lots of maps for runs, bike rides and walks about on the chat," he said.

“The lads are pretty competitive so they’ll put up their own map runs and videos on our chat.

“Everybody is just looking forward to getting some game-time under their belts.

“I’ve said to the lads, ‘It’s your time. But, keep yourself in shape, keep yourself healthy, because when we do come back, we may be rushed into playing games.’

“Obviously, I can’t force the lads to do it - they are amateur players.

“But, when we do come back, my job will be to select the fittest team of players."

l Elsewhere at the club, the deadline for ordering one of Heworth NHS training shirts is this Sunday.

The shirts are priced at £22 for adults and £20 for children, with all proceeds going to the NHS.

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