massive boost with the return of

No 8 Josh Burridge.

The 22-year-old was expected to be out for the season after injuring a knee late in the second half during their 63-27 defeat at second-placed Sale FC on March 11.

However, the back-rower, who has represented Yorkshire, the North and England Counties at under-20 level and Yorkshire at senior level, has made good progress.

His dad John said: “It was a grade-one tear, and not going skiing for a week has done him the world of good.”

Burridge will lead the side for Saturday’s National League Two North match at home to third-placed Sedgley Park in the absence of captain Rob Baldwin.

He is serving the second match of his suspension for receiving three yellow cards for foul play.

Wharfedale will also be boosted by the return of their influential scrum half Phil Woodhead.

Joe Altham is also back in the front row while the versatile Adam Howard moves into the second row with George Hedgley switching to the back row where Chris Swainson makes his first start.

Wharfedale could have been going into this weekend’s match at The Avenue in a despondent mood as they were 27-12 behind at fellow strugglers Scunthorpe last Saturday with ten minutes to go.

However, tries by George Hedgley and Tom Barrett, both of which were converted by Barrett, gave the Greens two unlikely bonus points.

Forwards’ coach Hedley Verity said: “It would have been a glum camp were it not for those last ten minutes.

“We also started well with a try by James Tincknell, but Josh Prell’s try apart, there was not a lot in between.

“It was our worst display since Christmas, and the scrum was our main problem.

“It is never good when you don’t know whether you are going to win your own ball, and it affected other parts of our game.

“Our line-out, which is normally good, was patchy, we missed too many tackles and made some handling errors.

“But the way that we finished the game was a real positive.

“Before the match I would have been disappointed with two points, feeling that we had dropped a couple of points, but I would have snapped your hand off for two points with ten minutes to go.

“Now that we have to take that last ten minutes into Saturday’s match.”

Wharfedale are in Yorkshire Cup quarter-final action next Thursday (April 6) at Hull, who are third in National League Three North, with Harrogate awaiting the winners at Rudding Lane on Saturday, April 15, when Sheffield Tigers host Otley in the other semi-final.

Wharfedale: Harry Bullough; James Tincknell, Tom Davidson, Jamie Guy, Scott Jordan; Tom Barrett, Phil Woodhead: Joe Altham, Dan Stockdale, Toms Asejevs, Adam Howard, Richard Rhodes, George Hedgley, Chris Swainson, Josh Burridge. Replacements: Jordon Poole, Ian Larkin, Simon Borrill, Sam Gaudie, Josh Prell.