YORK City Knights head coach James Ford will be using tonight’s friendly against Hull FC to size up his squad in a competitive setting.

Ford has a matchday squad of 24 lined up and is hoping to get everyone a run-out against the visiting Super League outfit.

In addition to known absentees Morgan Smith and Adam Cuthbertson, who are missing with ACL and shoulder injuries, respectively, Chris Clarkson and Toby Warren will not play a part.

Clarkson has a minor knee cartilage irritation and Warren has a broken thumb.

Cuthbertson is nearing a return from the injury he picked up last season, and both he and Clarkson are targeting the March 19 Sheffield Eagles fixture, but with the two seasoned campaigners out for this evening, 24-year-old hooker Will Jubb will captain the side.

Tonight will be an exercise in fitness, in getting to know the team and in putting on a good show against a top-tier side - but also in hoping nobody else joins those four in the treatment room.

“The first thing you want to do is get through the game unscathed,” said Ford on his aims for the 7.30pm kick off. “We don’t want to pick up any more injuries. Losing Morgan is a blow.

“I want to clarify my best team, and it’s a next step in terms of us being game-ready. We’ll be playing Sheffield the week after with only eight interchanges.

“This game is a stepping stone between (last week’s opposed training session at) Leeds and the Sheffield game where we’ll have unlimited interchanges.”

Tonight’s fixture might be down as a friendly but Ford is not expecting either team to hold back too much. The Humberside visitors have a new coach in Brett Hodgson to impress, and York players will be wanting to make a mark as well.

Ford added: “They’ve changed things around and I’m sure the players will be aiming to impress Brett and his coaching staff and nail down a starting spot.

“I’d say they’re going to come after us pretty hard, but that’s good, because we’re going to come after them pretty hard.

“We’ve waited a long time to play and we can’t wait to get there and I’m sure the Hull lads are really keen to impress Brett.”