DANNY BROWN is delighted to be welcoming a number of key players back into his Darlington Mowden Park squad for tomorrow’s National One game at Cambridge.

Mowden are currently sitting in second position in the table, and while leaders Coventry look guaranteed to win promotion to the Championship, Brown’s side are locked in a tussle for the runner-up spot.

Scrum-half Maia Gibbs returns to the starting XV for the first time all season tomorrow, having recovered from an injury lay-off.

The New Zealander joins Brett Connon in a strong half-back partnership, with Garry Law and Ben Frankland lining up outside them in the centre. The only other change in the backs sees Shaun McCartney preferred to Callum Mackenzie.

In the pack, Jordon Poole returns for his first start of 2018, and will form a powerful front row with Adam Brocklebank and Jack Payne.

Talite Vaioleti comes in to the second row, with Rory Duff returning to the replacements’ bench to provide some forward cover.

“It’s great to have Maia involved after a long injury lay-off, and he’ll bring something different for us at nine,” said director of rugby Brown. “He comes in for Matt Dudman, who is out with a minor niggle.

“We’ve rotated our squad in the backs with Brett Connon and Shaun McCartney coming in for Warren Seals and Callum Mackenzie, who start on the bench.

“Adam Brocklebank comes in at loose-head after an impressive display last week, and it’s good to have Jordon Poole back after a number of games for Yorkshire Carnegie.

“We’ve had a couple of minor knocks to Jake Brady and Matt Heaton, but it’s great to have the strength of squad to bring in the likes of Talite Vaioleti and Joe Craggs.

“It’s good to have our captain, Ollie Hodgson, back after a minor niggle as well, and Rory Duff, who has been training really well in recent weeks.”

Darlington Mowden Park (vs Cambridge): Connon, McCartney, Frankland, Law, Radwan, Connon, Gibbs; Brocklebank, Poole, Payne, Vaioleti, Preston-Routledge, Fisher, Craggs, Hodgson.

Replacements: Appleby, Barron, Duff, Seals, Mackenzie.