JAMES FORD has revealed that he will hand Betfred Championship debuts to teenagers Myles Harrison and Toby Warren on Friday evening (7.45pm).

York City Knights’ recent defeat against Bradford Bulls confirmed that they would be unable to make it into the play-offs this year and head coach Ford already has one eye on blooding through the club’s young talent ahead of next season.

The Knights boss explained that Harrison and Warren, alongside fellow prospect AJ Towse, who is carrying a rib injury, have impressed in training throughout 2021 and were fully deserving of their opportunities away to Newcastle Thunder.

“Myles Harrison is going to start at full-back and Toby Warren is going to be on the bench,” confirmed Ford.

“I have got plenty of confidence in them. The players can see it, they’ve trained really hard this year.

"They’ve done their extras and we’ve put them through a lot of work to try and build a robust athlete in the future.

“The boys have respected how hard they’ve worked at their games and they deserve their opportunity.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how they go because it’s a big step-up for them.

"They did okay for Rochdale, they both okay for Leeds Academy and Myles did okay against Wigan.

“I'm really looking forward to it and I’m looking forward to it probably as much as they are.”

Despite a place in the top six now being unachievable, Ford insists that the Knights still have plenty of motivation for the final stages of the campaign.

“We absolutely want to win these games” he said.

“The young boys making their debuts don’t want the people at the side of them going through the motions. That’s something that we’ve spoken about.

"The senior boys are adamant that they’re going to rip in for Myles and Toby.”

The introduction of forward Warren into the York squad will go some way to mitigating the loss of three senior pack members.

Jack Teanby, Will Jubb and Jordan Baldwinson have all dropped out of the York squad, the latter two picking up injuries against Bradford and Teanby pulling out of the warm-up from that game.

“Jubby is out with concussion, which is his second one this year, so we’ll need to get him assessed by a neurologist,” Ford said.

“Jordan will be going for a scan on his knee injury and Jack Teanby will miss this week.

“On the back of that, three or four blokes have picked up impact injuries and weren’t able to train on Tuesday.

“We’ll wait and see how they settle down.”

Experienced forwards Tim Spears and Adam Cuthbertson are also back into the squad while Danny Washbrook and Perry Whiteley are back in contention after missing out last week.

Ford also provided an update on half-back Morgan Smith, who has missed the whole season through an ACL injury he picked up in pre-season.

He said: “I was speaking to the physio who said that he was one of the best that he had seen in terms of his rehab and the conditioning he has got himself into.

“But the way that it has been put to me is that if he plays before a certain date, then the chances of it reoccurring are significant.

“I just think that with everything that has gone on this year, we’re just asking for trouble to throw him out there.

“Morgan might want to play and he might be able to change my mind but I just think we need to weigh up a number of things before we decide if he’s going to play this year.”

York City Knights squad: Marsh, Bass, Salter, Atkins, Clarkson, Cuthbertson, Stock, Kirmond, Green, Spears, Whiteley, Jones-Bishop, Towse, Harrison, Warren, Washbrook, Dow-Nikau, Johnson, Gannon, McDonnell, McGowan.