YORK City Knights will face a friendly away to Super League new boys Hull KR next month - this fixture completing the club's pre-season programme.

James Ford's men will face four friendlies in all, with the others, as already announced, coming against York & District ARL's representative XIII at Bootham Crescent on Wednesday, December 27, Championship big guns Featherstone Rovers away on Sunday, January 21, and traditional League One rivals Hunslet at home on Sunday, January 28.

The Hull KR game will be the second of the four, taking place on Sunday, January 7.

All the matches will kick off at 3pm, apart from the game against York & District which has now been put back to a 7pm start.

Head coach Ford believes these matches will stand his new-look team in good stead for the start of their League One campaign - when the Knights entertain fallen giants Bradford Bulls on Sunday, February 18.

He said: "There has been a turnover of players, there are new people and there have been adjustments on one or two things.

"We want to have a look at all the squad and I'm sure the supporters will be as eager as I am to see the new players play and see how the combinations are shaping up.

"We want to give ourselves the best opportunity coming into the season and get close to our top form. We've got Bradford first up and we're all well aware of what a challenge that will be. We want to go into that in form.

"These games give the players a real opportunity to force their way into the team for that game - they're all desperate to play in it - and they give the supporters opportunity to see what we're about this year.

"Hull KR are a Super League team and we can take a lot from that game as regards where we're at in comparison and where we want to get to.

"Featherstone are one the of the best clubs outside of Super League. We went there last year with a scratch team and the first 20 minutes was as bad as I've ever seen. We want to do ourselves justice this time. We're looking forward to it.

"Hunslet have recruited really well and I'm expecting them to be a real force this year.

"I think both sets of supporters enjoy the rivalry between the clubs and we want the games between the sides to be as high a standard as possible. Both teams will want to win."

Asked if victory over Hunslet would lay down a marker for the League One campaign, Ford said: "It's probably more a bit of bragging rights. If we beat them I wouldn't say we've laid down a marker. I'd say we would have performed pretty well to beat a decent team. If we lose it's not the end of the world."