Carnegie pair handed debuts in Cup as Edwards rotates his Leeds squad

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Leeds Carnegie hand debuts to both their new Sale Sharks signings in the televised British & Irish Cup match against Pontypridd this evening.

Scrum-half Will Cliff and centre Jordan Davies arrived on loan earlier this week and will feature in Wales as Leeds coach Diccon Edwards utilises his whole squad in readiness for the Championship challenges ahead.

“It makes sense to give them the opportunity and we will rest the majority of the matchday squad from last weekend’s game against Cornish Pirates,” he said.

“We want to give the lads a break. They have earned it but we know we have got some incredibly difficult games coming up. It will be an opportunity for the lads who have been playing in the A League to step up in a competitive first-team fixture down in Wales.

“We have spoken about what the challenges of playing in Wales are – how physical that is going to be and the manner in which they will try to take us on, with an opportunity to beat an English team, which is one they will relish and look forward to.

“It’s all part of our learning curve to get us ready for the play-offs.”

However, Doncaster Knights – who Leeds travel to in the Championship on Boxing Day – have adopted a different approach for today’s home B&I Cup game with Swansea.

Stuart Corsar (hamstring) is out for a fortnight but Alex Brown, Andy Brown and PJ Gidlow all return as coach Brett Davey insisted: “We will be picking our strongest side – there will be no resting of players.

“There are players coming back from injury who will have to reclaim their place in the side.

“I will not be simply handing back jerseys when there are lads who have done well in their positions.”