ILKLEY have signed an international hooker to bolster their National Three North squad.

Zimbabwean Nico Nyemba, who earned his first cap in his country’s African Nations Cup win over Tunisia earlier this year, could make his debut in Saturday’s home clash with Lymm.

He was a former Harrogate team-mate of Ilkley’s forwards coach Nathan Jones and will create added competition for the number two jersey.

Head of rugby Rhys Morgan said: “It is good to get Nico on board. He is an experienced player and will give us greater strength in depth.”

Also in contention for a front row place on Saturday is prop Tom Baxter. He has recovered from the hand injury which has kept him out of the side for a number of weeks.

His presence will counter the unavailability of Dan Lawrence, while Pat Power and Will Davies will be vying for the back row spot which has been created by the absence of Nick Carolan.

Having lost three successive league games and seeing last week’s fixture at Huddersfield YMCA postponed, Ilkley are in need of a win.

The Dalesmen did defeat their Cheshire opponents on the second weekend of the season and Morgan would like a repeat.

He said: “We want to end the year on a high, but that won’t be easy because Lymm are a good side. Like us, they like to try and move the ball wide, but the current weather conditions are not making that easy.

“We have been fortunate to have retained a good following despite the unpleasant conditions, and it would be nice if they can give us a special Christmas cheer to help us in our bid to secure another win.”