Chris Thorman has openly admitted his York City Knights squad need strengthening in the pivots – but he has a potential surprise up his sleeve when it comes to hooker.

The squad list for 2012 has now risen to 25 with confirmation that prop Jack Stearman is set to return to the ranks once he recovers from the dislocated elbow he suffered while representing Scotland in the European Cup, while York Acorn amateur Tim Elliott is also joining up for pre-season training now the Blue and Golds’ interim National Conference season is over.

However, it is no secret that the Championship outfit are seeking at least one more half-back, with player-boss Thorman and young recruit Lee Williams as the only recognised playmakers in the party, barring Elliott, who is effectively on trial.

Moreover, the club also seem light at hooker, with only Jack Lee and Kris Brining, who is yet to turn 18, as out-and-out number nines, with Elliott again being the only other obvious option.

Thorman, though, is extolling the virtues or utility and adaptability among players, and he also thinks he has a spotted a surprise package for the dummy-half role among his ranks for the times that Lee, the first-choice, needs a breather in games or is out injured.

When asked if he thought the hooker position could become an issue, he said: “No – Jack will have the best season of his career this year.

“He’s improved every year and he’s worked his proverbials off (over the closed season) so could probably play longer in matches.

“It depends how we want to go as regards rotation. Kris will get an opportunity but it’s fair to say won’t play every game. It could depend on the other issue of another half-back coming in and how we use him. I could do a stint at hooker to let Jack catch his breath, Rhys Clarke (normally a back-rower) has done it a bit and there are a couple of others who would be capable of going in there.

“There’s one I have in mind who I think could fit in there and it might surprise one or two people, but I need to talk it through with him and see how we go.”

Thorman also expects his men to swap and change accordingly rather than stick rigidly to one position, be it in the backs or the forwards or even across both sectors, such as Matt Garside and Tom Haughey, for example, who can play second-row or centre.

“Rugby league is going that way,” he said. “You have to be capable of doing that, myself included. I’ve played full-back before, and last season I played full-back, hooker, loose-forward and scrum-half but I’m a stand-off.

“If you look at the current England team, you could swap Rangi Chase and Sam Tomkins and still get a lot out of them, or Kevin Sinfield and James Roby and get a lot out of them. Gareth Ellis could play centre, the centres could do a job in the pack.

“It’s the way the game is evolving and that’s how I see the game going, players being able to play in different positions and giving options. People can be interchangeable.”

As for his 2012 squad, Thorman added: “It seems we have a fair bit of that. We have players who could move around and fill different roles. The proof is in the pudding, though, and we won’t really find out until we get on the training field or play a couple of games.”

Knights’ 2012 squad Backs: James Haynes, Tom Bush, Ben Dent, Dave Sutton, Waine Pryce, James Ford, George Elliot.

Half-backs: Chris Thorman, Lee Williams, Tim Elliott (trial).

Hookers: Jack Lee, Kris Brining.

Forwards: Adam Sullivan, Adam Howard, Alex Benson, Davey Burns, Paul King, Jack Aldous, Jack Stearman, James Houston, Rhys Clarke, Joe Hemmings, Ed Smith, Matt Garside, Tom Haughey.