The Barton Townley Cup gets under way tomorrow when Hindpool Tigers take on Askam at Brisbane Park.

The Tigers go into the game, which kicks off at 2pm, without any pre-season friendlies while the Villagers had a run-out against Wigan’s youth side two weeks ago.

Rob Bower could return after missing most of last season with a leg injury with Jamie Lynne is rated 50-50. However, two key players have departed for pastures new - prolific try scorer Nathan Sneesby has stepped up to the NCL with Barrow Island while Josh Bayliss has done likewise by joining tomorrow’s opposition.

Coach Darren Clarke said ahead of the tie: “Losing Nathan and Josh is a big blow, but you have to get on with it. Matty Archer has gone into retirement, so we are a relatively young side as we rebuild.

“We start again in the North West Men’s League’s Second Division and look at this game as being a run-out for the lads in preparation. Askam are an NCL side but it is a local game, so both teams will be anxious and on fire.

“I had a look at them when they played against the Wigan youngsters and you could see they are well drilled but you couldn’t take much from that game.”

Hindpool welcome back former player and coach Phil Cubiss, who will give Clarke a hand throughout the season and the Tigers will aim to go one better than last season when they lost in the same round to Dalton.

Clarke added: “It,s good to have Phil back with us after a year out.Askam have some big forwards so we will have to get stuck in and contain them.”

Unavailable are Paul Rickleton and Lee Boyd.

Taking over at Fallowfield Park is Garry Bolton and he goes into battle without former Raider Jamie Butler, who has a leg injury.

Bolton said: “Jamie is 50-50, but I wont risk him. We need him for the league season. but we do welcome back young Zac Steel after a stint at Workington, while back following a broken leg is Ethan Guy.

“We will miss stalwarts Tom Hopkins and Mark Tyson (who had a spell at Egremont last season), who have gone to Barrow and we wish both lads all the best in the pro game. We haven’t had any pre-season games apart from the Wigan game and we should be almost at full strength.”

The Villagers have added to their squad brothers Ben and Josh Atkinson from Dalton and have several youngsters pushing for places.

There will also be two pre-season friendlies taking place tomorrow, with Dalton welcoming Heysham Atoms and Millom hosting fellow Cumbrians Kells at Devonshire Road.