ILKLEY will have an international prop in their side when they play their first pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Twenty-one-year-old Henrik Ek, who has been capped six times by Sweden, makes his debut for the Dalesmen at Bridlington.

The Norrkoping RK Trojan player has joined the Dalesmen for the coming National League Three North campaign.

He was recommended by a number of the Ilkley squad who knew him when he was studying on a scholarship at Woodhouse Grove School.

Ek is working as a sports coach during his stay in England and Ilkley coach Nathan Smith said: “It is good to have him on board. He is a specialist tighthead which is a position where we don’t have any real depth.”

Ironically, Ek is likely to fill in as a second row at Bridlington due to injuries and unavailabilities.

One lock working his way back to full fitness is Steve Burns. He could get a run out against Blackburn next week.

Smith, who admits to being delighted to have his full squad back following the club’s national sevens success, will have Jack Maplesden, Rob Rekis, Lewis Johnston and Harry Wales missing on Saturday.

“I was thrilled with their achievement for the club, but it did have an impact on our training and preparation for the new season,” Smith said.

“Thankfully, the players have come back and got down to work quickly. We hope the confidence can be the springboard for the campaign ahead.

“Last season was one of transition with new players coming in, but now we have a platform to try and push to finish higher in the league.”