YORK City Knights head coach James Ford admits that he is “spoilt for choice” at half-back for Sunday's trip to Dewsbury Rams (3pm).

Ata Hingano is available to York for the first time this weekend following last month’s arrival on loan until the end of the season from Leigh Centurions and the news that he will stay permanently until 2025 from next season.

The Tongan international adds further depth to the Knights’ half-back options, with Liam Harris, Brendan O’Hagan and Jamie Ellis all also vying for starting spots, with the former duo the current preferred pair.

“We’ve gone from one extreme to the other haven’t we?” said Ford on his playmaking selection headache.

“If you think back to 2021, I can remember a couple of games where I was thinking ‘There’s nobody in this room that can pass the ball let alone kick it, they’re all sat in the physio room.’

“Now we’ve four outstanding half-backs, so I’m spoilt for choice, which is a great position to be in, up until I make that decision anyway.

“What it will do is really drive up standards in training. When we get to doing 13 on 13, there’s going to be four absolute dynamite half-backs out there all wanting a crack. That's a great position to be in.”

On how he will decide which two halves will start at Dewsbury, Ford explained: “We’re looking for the pair that work the best together and Liam and Brendan are playing well.

“I’ve talked up Liam’s qualities throughout the season, I think he’s a really good running player who has scored tries and has got a lot of fight about him. Liam’s got plenty of value for us.

“Brendan and Ata know each other from Australia and played together at Canberra (Raiders), so I think they’ll complement each other really effectively.

“And Jamie is class with the ball in his hand and how he sits defenders down and creates space for Marshy (Matty Marsh), he’s a class act.

“The ball is in their court now. Let’s see them compete and the two that work the best together, we’ll see them out there more often than not.”

Whichever starting combination the head coach chooses to go with, that may not mean the two non-selected players do not feature in the 17.

Hingano has played half of his matches for Leigh this season as an interchange while Ford this week hailed Harris’ ability “as a running nine”.

The former is currently in his first week of full training as a Knights player, having previously been nursing a minor knock, and could debut at the Tetley’s Stadium.

“He looks like the player I thought we’d signed,” Ford said of Hingano.

“He’s good with the ball, good on his feet, he’s got a good running game, he’s intelligent.

“Straight away you can see that he understands what we’re trying to do and I think he’ll add a lot.

“When you bring in a quality player like Ata, Jamie, Liam or Brendan, they add a lot to the team in terms of their understanding and their key strengths.”

York have made three changes to their 21-man squad for Sunday, with Pauli Pauli returning from suspension, Bailey Antrobus back after a hamstring injury and Hingano included for the first time.

Jack Teanby is out with concussion while Myles Harrison and Brad Ward drop out.

York City Knights squad: Marsh, Brown, Glover, Ogden, O’Hagan, Ellis, Jubb, Clarkson, Pauli, Thompson, Dixon, Stock, Kirmond, Harris, Towse, Michael, Edwards, Antrobus, Porter, Inman, Hingano.