ILKLEY head of rugby Rhys Morgan hopes a new signing will freshen up his side as they return to action following a two-week absence.

The Stacks Field side travel to fourth-placed Blaydon in North Premier on Saturday (kick-off 2.15pm), after the squad had a free weekend from action.

Ilkley were awarded a walkover in their Yorkshire Cup first round clash with Bradford & Bingley last Saturday, which gave Morgan's side a chance to recharge and regroup.

In the meantime, Morgan has recruited Ben Waddington, who can play at back or second row, from West Leeds.

He returns to Ilkley after previously playing for the club in the pre-season sevens tournament.

Morgan said: "He is a big, strong lad. I'm interested in watching him play. He has got a shot on Saturday.

"We are at the stage of the season when you can't stand still. We have to keep plugging away and keep building.

"Bringing players in will help us against players dropping away, knocks and bumps and lose of form. We try to freshen it up. Helps with motivation in the changing room.

"Pat Atkinson is in Canada at he will be back soon and hopefully available for us like he was last year.

"This season has meant we have constantly been kept on our toes."

Morgan added he is looking forward to a good, attractive game of rugby on a tricky surface in the north east on Saturday.

He has everyone available for the Blaydon clash, part from Max McKay, who is unavailable.

Ilkley are ninth in the table, with four wins from their opening nine games, while Blaydon have won four of their first nine.

Morgan said: "It's been good for the lads to have a break. We had a couple of tough games and it has given them a chance to have a break.

"Blaydon are one of those teams that we are pretty close to this season. It's neck and neck. They are close to us in terms of ability.

"It will be a game played on astroturf, so they have the advantage of knowing the pitch a bit, but it should suit us. It is not going to daunt us.

"Blaydon are not a particularly big team. They like to play rugby, so it is a different sort of challenge for us. It should be quite an interesting game.

"I'm hoping for a nice, dry and windless weekend so we can play some rugby.