Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey is delighted to have competition for places in his squad again, now the chronic injury crisis that has hamstrung them this season is finally started to ease.

The number of absentees ran into double figures for the Raiders around a month ago, with Crarey having to put players out of position and ask others to play through the pain barrier in order to plug the gaps.

Since then, however, key figures such as captain Martin Aspinwall, Jarrad Stack and Jordan Walne have returned and Josh Johnson’s knee problem has thankfully eased.

Barrow will be without half-back Lewis Charnock against Bradford Bulls in the 1895 Cup tonight, as he begins an eight-game ban for a dangerous tackle on Sheffield Eagles’ James Glover, but Stargroth Amean could feature after quickly recovering from a dislocated shoulder.

Crarey said: “The likes of Ryan Johnston will be available for us, who will want to prove that he can keep that shirt and we’ve got other players who are chomping at the bit as well.

“Brett Carter has trained the house down lately so we’ll give him a shot at it and give someone else a rest. The competition for places is really healthy.

“Glenn Riley has played with a hip injury for weeks and weeks now, so if we can we’ll give Glenn a rest, depending on how Stargroth comes through his fitness test.

“Depending on how people go, we’ll be able to rest people this week and that’s the first time we’ve been able to do that since we started in week one.

“Danny Morrow is back in contention and Luke Cresswell came through training on Saturday well.

“It’s only healthy and it pushes the other players that are in front of them, knowing that if you slip up they’ll get in, but we want our squad to be consistent in selection and for the lads to fight their way in either because of lack of form or someone gets injured.”