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Davies to put new boys on show

29 August 2003

Leeds Tykes Director of Rugby Phil Davies has included ten of his 14 new signings for next season in his team for the club's second and final pre-season game against Scottish side Borders at Headingley this Saturday in the Kukri Challenge, kick off 2.30pm.

As well as the new players, Davies is to hand 18-year-old centre Jon Buchanan his debut after he has impressed in pre-season.  Buchanan, originally from Sheffield, played for Yorkshire at U16 and U18 level and is a product of the Tykes Academy set up.

England internationals Phil Christophers and David Rees will both get their first run out at Headingley after joining from Bristol in the summer.  Scott Morgan and Matt Salter, who travelled up from Bristol with the England pair, are also included.

The other internationals are Welsh full back Matt Cardey and Scottish star Duncan Hodge who will feature in an all-star back line.

Davies, who signed a new four year contract this week commented, "I was really pleased with the way the new players combined last week in our opening game against Gwent Dragons.  We won 31-7 and there were some good phases of play for us to work on.  The players have worked extremely hard in the pre-season with our conditioner Steve Carter and they are in great shape.  They need to get their match sharpness now and we can take a step towards that against Borders.

"We played the Borders last season and they are a strong, skilful side who caused us problems at their place.  We managed to win that night but both teams have changed considerably since then, with new signings and international call ups.  It should be a good game for both teams to get ready for the start of our respective seasons and we will be treating this as a serious game.

"We will be giving a home debut to Jon Buchanan, who is another product of our Academy system.  Jon deserves his chance and credit to the work being done by Stuart Lancaster and his team in making sure that these players are ready to come through to the first team level," added Davies.

The team in full is:

15. Matt Cardey
14. David Rees
13. Jon Buchanan
12. Duncan Hodge
11. Phil Christophers
10. Tim Walsh
9. Alan Dickens

1. Mike Shelley (c)
2. Rob Rawlinson
3. Simon Halford
4. Stuart Hooper
5. Scott Morgan
6. Colm Rigney
7. Dan Hyde
8. Matt Salter


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