Wharfedale play host on Saturday to Blackheath (2.00), one of the game’s most venerable clubs, without having played a match for three weeks.

Will the break prove beneficial?

Coach Tom McGee begins the New Year in determined mood. He said: “We start 2013 hungry, focused and ready, determined to take advantage of January’s three home fixtures.

“That means getting back to basics, working on our core skills and attending to details in training, with the emphasis on each player making himself mentally prepared for each match.”

McGee acknowledges the tremendous support the club gets, with over 500 turning out for the Foresters’ match on Boxing Day.

“We have a responsibility to deliver to our fantastic supporter base what they want and need, and that means playing good, honest, committed rugby, with players competing with each other for the green jersey.

“The Avenue has a reputation across the country for being a really tough place to come to, and we must re-inforce that reputation on Saturday against a well-coached side with good players.”

Currently lying sixth, Blackheath have always been consistent performers in SSE National League One, and never threatened by relegation.

Indeed last season, with 20 victories, they finished an impressive third on 106 points behind Jersey and Ealing Trailfinders.

With well-publicised summer signings and tipped by some as realistic contenders for promotion, their season got off to a sound enough start, their only defeat in the first five matches coming at Esher.

But then they lost six of their next seven, their only victory coming at home to Cambridge.

However, their season is now back on the road, with a fine win last time out over Esher, although in their previous match they lost at home to Fylde.