YORK City Knights have signed Salford prop Luke Menzies on loan to replace Austin Bell - but he will not be involved in tomorrow’s Challenge Cup third round tie against South Wales Scorpions at Mountain Ash (2pm).

Bell, who played 27 times for York in the last two years, and full-back Josh Nicklin, who arrived in the off-season, have been released by boss James Ford due to commitments away from rugby, although the door is not closed on returns.

Ford moved quickly to recruit Menzies, 26, the former Hull KR, Oldham, Dewsbury, Batley and Hunslet forward who joined the Red Devils after shining for Swinton last year, but his arrival did not come in time for tomorrow.

There will be a few changes to the side that hammered London Skolars 78-10 in last week’s opener, though, with Fulford School starlet Liam Richmond and new boy Kane Riley set for debuts, and Jack Pickles back after ten months on the sidelines, initially due to injury.

Said Ford: “There has been no fall-out with Austin or Josh - they have other priorities so we felt it better to part ways. If things change, they’re more than welcome to get in touch.

“We’ve brought Luke in for a month. He’s a player of great physical ability who will benefit our squad with his strength.”

Second-row Richmond, the Heworth ARLC product who is back after a spell with Castleford, and full-back Riley, who came on trial after being released by the Tigers, have impressed in pre-season. The former replaces Brad Nicholson, while Riley takes Tyler Craig’s place on the wing.

Pickles replaces Colton Roche, who rests a calf niggle.

Said Ford: “Kane was outstanding in the reserves at Dewsbury on Thursday. He’s impressed everyone - players and coaching staff - in training and deserves his chance. I like Liam’s mentality - he’s not fazed by what’s in front of him. He’s young but physically well developed and has bags of potential.

“Jack Pickles has been really patient and he’s improved in areas we’ve asked him to work on, and he gets a shirt as reward.”

The Knights put 124 points past South Wales in the league last year, but Ford added: “The distance is a challenge and Welsh teams are often tough and ask questions. I’m expecting a good performance, though - better than at London.”

Knights (probable): Haynes, Riley, Aspinall, Minikin, Morrison, Presley, P Smith, Pickles, Brining, Aldous, E Smith, Cunningham, Applegarth. Subs: Carter, Tonks, Richmond, Joynt.

The Knights reserves lost 34-16 in Thursday’s friendly at Dewsbury. York tries came from Jake Joynt, Steven Batty and James Glover, who added two goals.