YORK City Knights head coach James Ford has described today’s visit to Betfred Championship side Toronto Wolfpack as “immensely tough”.

The clash sees leaders Toronto face off against second-placed York, although there is an 11-point gap between the two teams.

The Knights face by far their toughest task of the season, coming up against a Toronto side which have won 22 of their 23 league games and have already won this season’s League Leaders’ Shield.

March was the last time that Toronto lost a match and since then they’re won 17 games in a row.

Ford is under no illusions about the task that faces his play-off chasing side.

“It’s going to be an immensely tough game, we’re well aware of that,” Ford said.

“They are the league champions and a really tough side to play against.

“They won the Championship League Leaders’ Shield against Widnes and I think that is a really important honour.

“The sport should respect that because they’ve themselves as the most consistent team over the course of the league season.

“I’m sure that’s an achievement that Brian (McDermott, coach) will be really proud of. We’ll be geed up for the game and put in a real effort to come away with a victory.

With the small matter of a transatlantic flight to cope with, Ford detailed his side’s preparations ahead of the game.

“We’re flying early on Friday morning,” he said. “But our preparation has been similar to the way it has been all season.”

“We did a review of the Barrow game on Tuesday night and looked at things that could have gone better.

“On Wednesday night, we had a look at Toronto in our video session and looked at their defensive traits and we clarified what our plan would be with the ball.

“We’re flying out early on Friday morning and we’ll do our final video session when we arrive in Toronto.”

The Knights have taken only 17 players to Canada and though Ford wouldn’t specifically confirm which members of his squad were injured, he did state that a large portion of the squad were “unavailable”.

“We’ve got eight or nine players that are unavailable,” he added.

“Not all of them are injured, but I will stress that we were working on getting them fit and trying to get certain players available.”

The Knights have included new loan signing Danny King in their squad for the trip to Toronto following the second rower’s move to the club until the end of the season from Dewsbury Rams.

King - a former Widnes Vikings academy and Bradford Bulls forward - has made five appearances for Dewsbury this year and was part of the Rams side that visited Toronto in June.

York City Knights squad: Marsh, Salter, Hey, Chilton, Robinson, Jubb, Teanby, Jordan-Roberts, Blagbrough, Kelly, Stock, Bass, Baldwinson, Harris, Oakes, C Scott, King.