PAUL MARCH insists his players must give 100 per cent when York City Knights kick off their pre-season fixture programme tomorrow.

The Knights take on a York Select XIII and, while the Lee McTigue Memorial Trophy is up for grabs having been introduced for the fixture this year, March says his team have further reason to give their all – to win a starting role when the season begins, and to avoid the risk of injury.

He also expects a professional attitude and a victory, in order to boost fitness and confidence.

“They definitely have to give 100 per cent,” he said. “If they don’t, that’s when injuries come about. They’re all raring to get back on the field.

“You can do as much fitness training as you want but match-day fitness comes on the field and it’s something we want pretty early.

“There will be guys blowing early on, but I’m sure the work we’ve done in training will come into good effect.”

As revealed by The Press this week, all but three – Wayne McHugh, Richard Knight and the ineligible Garry Green – of the ten new signings will be on show, and March has now named his line-up.

Former Hull FC academy player Mike Mitchell and ex-Castleford academy player and former York Acorn junior Adam Jones will start in the centres, while former Huddersfield Under-21s prop Chris Clough and second-row Jordan Ross, the ex-Keighley player who has returned to Britain from Australia, will also be on at the outset.

Included among the rolling substitutes are Chris Williams, the hooker signed from Wakefield’s academy, ex-Hull rookie second-row Kris Peacock, and local boy Tom Stancliffe, the teenage winger who has joined his home-town club, also from Hull.

Prop Jack Stearman also makes his first-team debut after promotion from the academy, while Rob Kelly is back having missed the end of last year with injury.

March said: “Everybody who has come to the club has a point to prove. They want starting shirts and it will be good to see them out there, as well as some of the lads who were here last year. They want the shirts as well and they will have to be on top of their game. It should be an interesting afternoon.”

A number of likely first-choices sit this one out, though, including March and his brother, David, who cannot play until the Northern Rail Cup game against Workington on February 15 due to suspension.

Also missing are captain Paul Hughes, prop Adam Sullivan, second-row Tom Haberecht, full-back Danny Ratcliffe, who is still overcoming his shoulder surgery, and Johnny Waldron, who was set to start on the wing but picked up a slight groin injury in training so is not risked.

March said he and director of rugby James Ratcliffe would be looking closely at the combinations in the new line-up.

“We’ve been split left and right in training and we’ll be checking out those little combinations, such as half-back to centre. It will be good to see how they work. We’re not going to be at full strength but we want players to put their hands up – they’re playing for a starting role come February.”

A young Knights line-up had to come from behind to draw the corresponding friendly 12 months ago but March expects a win this time.

He added: “We had a young team out then. This year there’s a mixture of everything – youngsters, new signings and a bit of experience.

“It’s just about how we conduct ourselves on the day. If we do that in a professional manner we should get a comfortable win.”

Knights: Clayton, Lewis, M Mitchell, Jones, Oakes, A Mitchell, Grimshaw, Woodcock, Hodg-son, Clough, Ross, Kelly, Grundy. Subs: Williams, Peacock, Ja Stearman, Endersby, Stancliffe.