CONNOR Bailey and Nikau Williams are in line to make their York Knights debuts against former side Newcastle Thunder in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup.

However, fans will not be able to catch a glimpse of marquee signing Richie Myler, who has not been included in Andrew Henderson's 21-player squad.

The Knights kick off their season at Kingston Park on Saturday (3pm), in what will be their first competitive hit-out since October's Play-off Eliminator defeat at Bradford Bulls.

Bailey and Williams are among six of the club's off-season recruits to be named in Henderson's first preliminary squad of 2024 - with Will Dagger, Taylor Pemberton, Jimmy Keinhorst and youngster Harvey Reynolds also included.

James Cunningham is also in line to make his first Knights appearance since July, having been ruled out due to head injury protocols for the latter part of the 2023 season.

But there is no place for Alex Donaghy, the Knights' third Newcastle recruit, who joins Bailey Antrobus (ACL), Levi Edwards (ACL), Josh Daley (knee) and Ronan Michael (shoulder) on the club's injury list.

York Press: Josh Daley and Ronan Michael are among those on the Knights' injury list.Josh Daley and Ronan Michael are among those on the Knights' injury list. (Image: Craig Hawkhead)

"We've obviously got a couple of guys injured, but we're pretty much with full availability," Henderson explained.

"Whether we go that way and pick our full strength squad, we'll see, but we're pretty much close to full strength.

"Ultimately, we've looked at pre-season as coaches, we've looked at the the whole preseason campaign. The blokes who have acquitted themselves well through that will earn the right to play in round one, and we'll see how they go."

The head coach also provided a positive update on Edwards and Antrobus, whose ACL injuries have kept them sidelined since March and July respectively.

"[Their rehabilitation] is going really, really well," he said with a smile. "They're progressing really, really well.

"Bailey and Levi both had the ACL surgery in the close season or the back end of the season, so both are progressing really, really well."

York Knights preliminary squad to face Newcastle Thunder: Connor Bailey, Joe Brown, James Cunningham, Will Dagger, Jesse Dee, Oli Field, Conor Fitzsimmons, Liam Harris, Myles Harrison, Ata Hingano, Will Jubb, Jimmy Keinhorst, Taylor Pemberton, Harry Price, Harvey Reynolds, Brenden Santi, Jack Teanby, Jordan Thompson, AJ Towse, Brad Ward, Nikau Williams.