League leaders Birkenhead Park host Douglas at the Upper Park ground this Saturday, a venue steeped in club and international rugby history.

Park’s only loss was at Whitchurch in September, whereas Douglas took a little longer to unveil their true form with two wins in October after a played four, lost four record.

Key to the improvement is simply a numbers game where injury recovery and player availability have made coach Phil Cringle and captain Blake Snell’s selection task pleasingly difficult.

Even with an unavailable Simon Hoddinott, up front Rob Todd, Chris Bollen, Owen Carvin and Sean Garland vie for front-row choices alongside Jack Laughnane who awaits a fitness test.

There’s varying permutations at second-row and back-row where Connor Garland, Ralph Clarke, Seth Waterworth, Liam Kirkpatrick, Angus Wheeler, Wilf Kermode, James Good, Percy Hampton and John Dutnall are all in the running.

Away from the forward muscle, Spencer Cope warms the scrum-half competition alongside Luke Hyland and Kyle Martin, and Brett Pyke, Luca Simmons, Sam McCord, Bradley Bowmar and Aidan O’Shea tussle for midfield spots.

Josh Duncan and Guy Barrons may be inked in at full-back and winger only while Charlie Henthorn recovers from a training injury, but Cal Dentith, Shay Waterworth and Harry Swayne will also have a say.