ULVERSTON will have a pair of Australian aces in the pack as they tackle the Cumbria League and Barton-Townley Cup this season.

The Dragley Beck outfit will hand debuts to Joel Smith and Jake Schofield when they take on Dalton in the cup tomorrow.

The duo have flown to the UK from Cooma, New South Wales, and will spend the season as part of the Ulverston set-up.

Hooker or half-back Smith and centre or full-back Schofield have arrived in town following Liam Saunders and Gareth Knowles making the reverse trip last year, featuring for Cooma Stallions in the Group 16 competition.

Smith admits he has had to acclimatise to the British winter – with temperatures this week some 28C cooler in Ulverston than in his hometown in the Snowy Mountains, south of Australia’s capital Canberra.

But the reception he has been given by his new club has been more than warm and Smith is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“I wanted to try something new and give it a go,” said the 20-year-old. “We had two Ulverston boys at our home last year, so we would come over and see what they’re used to.

“It’s very cold at the moment, but it’s all been good so far. It’s different to back home, but we’ve seen a few games in the local area and the standard looks pretty good.

“There is a strong competition and it looks pretty physical. We’re expecting a tough comp.”

He added: “Hopefully we can help the team, we’ll see how we go.

“All the boys are really good and we can’t wait for the first game – we just want to get into it.”

Smith and 22-year-old Schofield have been happily welcomed by the Ulverston officials and players.

Vice-chairman Alan Moses is delighted to have them on board, and said: “They are really good attacking players. Joel is a quality, organising player with a good, sharp kicking game and Jake is a real good attacking player.

“They’re both here to stay for the year and they will be living or working in the local area.

“These guys will really help to support and develop the backs in our team.

“We’ve got a bit of a partnership with Cooma now and maybe some of our lads will want to go back over with Joel and Jake.

“If it’s successful, then we can keep cycling players round and, as a local sports club in Ulverston, that’s something which is really good for us and the town.

“It’s been a lot of hard work, but we’ve got them here, they’re settled in and they have both said they are here to play rugby. They’re not here for a party or a holiday, they’re here to win games.”

Smith and Schofield arrive as the club also welcome back the likes of Saunders, former Barrow Raiders man Ruairi McGoff, Adam Mills, Tom Spedding, Scott Houston and Josh Proctor to the pack.

Marc Dixon has also returned from a brief retirement following a broken leg and Andries Venter has made the move from rugby union side Furness.

Sam Shepherd is back as well, following a brief spell with Askam.