WELL the good news is dual-reg aces James Clare and Michael Channing are now very much eligible to play for York City Knights for the remainder of the season and indeed the all-important play-offs, should the team get there.

But a decision will have to be made very soon on whether they will be allowed to.

New rules on dual-reg were brought in this year with the ideas of preventing confusion over eligibility, which brought the controversy of Batley and Doncaster having points deducted then reinstated on appeal, and of cutting out misuse of the system, which previously gave a loophole for Super League regulars to breeze into big Championship or League One games at the business end of term.

Among these new rules, it is stated that for players to be eligible for the run-in and play-offs, they will firstly have to have played three times for the lending club by the cut-off point - and Clare and Channing have more than hit that mark.

But moreover, those players can only play for one team beyond that cut-off point - meaning the clubs concerned must decide who gets them.

And the big date for decisions to be made in July 24.

Basically, this means that for the Knights to have Clare and Channing in their ranks for the play-offs, partner club Castleford must decide they will not need the pair for their own cause for the remainder of the season. And they must decide by Friday.

The same applies for Jordan Howden, of course, York's third dual-reg regular, but Howden, who is yet to play Super League, is here effectively on a long loan, being seen as one for the long-term at Cas, not the present term, so it is almost a given that he will stay, barring some freak injury crisis at Wheldon Road.

Clare and Channing, conversely, have played a fair bit in Super League - with 39 and 28 appearances respectively for Cas, with Channing having previously played 20 for London Broncos.

Knights boss James Ford obviously wants to keep them at York but he understands why it might be far from certain - especially after Clare hit the headlines last week with four tries in the victory over Gloucestershire, which took his Knights tally to nine in seven appearances.

Channing, meanwhile, has one try in six outings for York.

Ford said: "They want to be playing Super League and that does not surprise me.

"The good thing is they have been happy here playing for York and they have contributed enormously to us on and off the field."

The Knights boss was also interviewed about it immediately after Clare's man-of-the-match display last week.

"If Super League comes for them I want them to do as well as they can," he said, when asked if he was concerned either of the pair may earn a recall at Wheldon Road and be unavailable for the business end of the season here.

"If James plays for Castleford on the back of (his four-try performance) or on the back of what he does for us, then I would be proud we've helped him."

That is the right answer of course, but, at the same time, you can bet your bottom dollar he will be hoping against hope that the pair will remain Knights players for the rest of the campaign.

JAMES CLARE'S man-of-the-match award in The Press last week lifted him up our Player of the Year leaderboard - but it's Ed Smith who is edging ever closer to its summit.

Four-try Clare collected three Player of the Year points thanks to winning the accolade, with James Haynes picking up two as our second-best performer on the day on his return from injury.

Smith drew level with Josh Tonks in the standings after being deemed our third best on the day (1pt).

We also have to add in the points from the previous week's match at Oldham, and the ever-consistent Smith picked up one point there, too, so now lies second to long-time leader Greg Minikin. He remains six points adrift still but, with Minikin currently sidelined by injury, the chasing pack have a chance to catch up.

The big points-winners at Oldham were our man of the match, Brad Nicholson (3pts), and Mark Applegarth (2pts).

The Press Player of the Year standings: Minikin 21pts, E Smith 15, Tonks 14, Howden 9, Applegarth 8, Cunningham 8, Brining 7, Haynes 7, Nicholson 6, Aldous 5, Presley 5, P Smith 4, Clare 4, B Dent 3, A Dent 2, Roche 1, Morrison 1, Aspinall 1, Craig 1, Carter 1.

YORK-BASED former Knights favourite Ross Divorty is poised to hit a notable personal milestone.

Divorty needs just one appearance to reach 200 for his career - not bad going in this era, especially considering he is still only 26.

The back-rower has played 95 times for Halifax since 2012, having previously made 63 appearances for Featherstone from 2009 to 2011 and 29 for home-town club York back in 2008.

He has also represented Wales 12 times since 2009.