THE debuts of Tom Nicholson-Watton and Tom Lineham pleased York Knights Head Coach Andrew Henderson in Sunday's 36-20 defeat to Doncaster.

Lineham and Nicholson-Watton joined York last week ahead of the Betfred Championship season-opener against Doncaster, with the Knights falling to defeat on the opening day of the campaign.

However, the duo's debuts impressed Henderson, who felt that the pair coped with the expectations despite not featuring in much training yet.

“I thought they were solid, both players," Henderson lauded.

"Tom Nicholson-Watton has not played a lot of senior football but I thought that he held his own, he worked hard off-the-ball and he’s only had the three training sessions with us, so he’s not had long to bed in with what we’re about and how we play.

"He held his own there, there wasn’t anything flash from him but we weren’t expecting that, we were just expecting him to do his job and he did a solid job for us.

"Tom Lineham hasn’t had a pre-season but he did some good things for us, he looked for work and got some really strong carries out of the back.

"He finished his try well too, there will be a little bit of rustiness in him with it being his first game and he’s only had a week of training as well.

"We had people missing and felt that we had to call upon him this week, which was not originally the plan but it ended up being that way."

Henderson also provided an update on Ritchie Myler, who has suffered a suspected elbow injury in the Doncaster defeat, and explained the absence of captain Liam Harris.

Henderson confirmed: “Ritchie Myler at the end came off with something so we’re going to have to get some investigation on that.

"I'll give Liam a bit wrap, he was determined to play today and we thought that he was good to go, but just as the performance staff we evaluated things.

"He took a knock against Oldham and came off if you remember, we just hadn't ticked enough boxes for us to have that confidence to put him in.

"We were thinking more longer-term, it's that risk and reward where we probably could have got him through the game all sweet, but if we hadn't then we would have been kicking ourselves.

"We need Liam Harris and we've got some big games coming up, I think we just had to look after his best interests as well as the team.

"It doesn't help but we're not using those as excuses, we've got a few of our more established players missing but we've got a good quality squad, and a talented squad here.

"We should have enough to step up and fill the role, and do the role to a nice standard.

"Unfortunately we didn't have enough of that today."

Henderson's focuses have now turned towards Toulouse Olympique's visit to the LNER Community Stadium on Sunday, March 31 (3pm), with Knights Head Coach expecting a feisty challenge in round two of the Championship campaign.

“We’re going to have two teams there in a couple of weeks time at the LNER both wanting to bounce back.

"We want to bounce back in the right way, I think it will be a cracking contest so we’re going to have to focus on ourselves, focus on different areas and make sure that our performance is better.

"That starts in training, we need to make sure that we know what we need to do to come out and put in a better performance. We need to get some consistency there."