EX-Wakefield Trinity and Manly Sea Eagles forward James Hasson paid his own fare from Australia to make his Yorkshire Carnegie debut tonight with the struggling club also calling on one of its legends in their hour of need.
Former hooker Rob Rawlinson, who helped Leeds Tykes earn promotion to the Premiership, win the Powergen Cup in 2005 and also reach the Heineken Cup, has been lending his expertise at training ahead of the game in Jersey.
Ireland RL international Hasson, 26, will start on the bench having last played in the UK with Salford Red Devils and Trinity in 2017.
He is one of five changes made to the side that lost to Newcastle Falcons on Sunday as director of rugby Phil Davies looks to find that much-needed winning formula.
Jack Metcalf starts at centre in place of Joe Carlisle, Joe Green comes in for scrum-half James Elliott, Louis Musetti is rotated into the hooking spot while Will Hill and Jarrid Els start in the back-row.
Leeds Beckett university props Tobi Ademakin and Jide Ajayi are both included and Davies said: “We trained with Leeds Beckett again this week.
“It’s testament to the great work the coaching staff are doing there that we are able to call up Jide and Tobi to the squad for Jersey.
“James Hasson is an impressive individual who wants an opportunity to show what he can do with Yorkshire Carnegie. He paid for his own flight over from Australia and has brought a professional attitude to everything he does in training.
“This week I was delighted to welcome Rob Rawlinson down to training for a scrum session. Rob is someone who gave a decade’s service to the club and remains one of our longest-ever serving players.
“He is part of the successful coaching team at Harrogate with David Doherty, Andy Boyde and Mike Ashford, who are top of North Premier and it was great to have him down to meet the boys and give us the benefit of his experience.”
Trae O’Sullivan, Elliot Turner and Tainne Finn all return to the bench for the first time under Davies who takes charge of his third game since replacing Martyn Wood and has Colin Stephens alongside him after player-coach Joe Ford officially left on Wednesday.
“The boys have been in great spirits this week after a tough performance against a very good Newcastle side last Sunday,” he said.
“We have a short week this week along with the extra challenges that an away game in Jersey presents but we will go there looking to continue the development of our play.
“We have had some good news this week with Callum Bustin and James Flynn both approaching full fitness and we expect to have both back available for selection in the coming weeks.”