HEAD coach Paul James has challenged his senior players to “lead the way” as a depleted Worcester Wolves side host Plymouth Raiders tonight (7.30pm).

Wolves have been hit with a string of injuries and international call-ups ahead of the British Basketball League clash.

Captain Alex Navajas, Trayvon Palmer and Brandon Parrish are the only first-team regulars available to James who is set to hand a number of the club’s second-string players the chance to shine.

And Wolves boss admitted the star trio would play an important role in helping to steer his side to victory at the University of Worcester Arena.

“Those guys are going to have to lead the way,” James said.

“They are going to have to stay out of foul trouble and help guide these younger players through the game.”

George Beamon (ankle) and Dallin Bachynski (Achilles) have been ruled out through injury while Great Britain’s Robert Gilchrist, Albania’s Elvisi Dusha and Nigeria’s Michael Ojo have been called up to represent their respective nations.

James will now present opportunities to Dominic Ives, George Emms, Zach Noble, Demi Ogunbona and Matthew Williamson.

But he has backed the quintet who play in the National League Division Three to perform.

“Hopefully they can step up, especially Dominic as it is his third year with us now,” James said.

“Often he doesn’t get to play because the players he is behind, but this is an opportunity for him and if he gets going I think we will see some good things from him.

“The others are inexperienced but all I want them to do is go out there and play as hard as they can and do their best.

“We will be doing one or two things to try to protect them and limit their exposure whilst they are out there but they are all looking forward to it.”

Sixth-placed Wolves will be looking to avoid a third straight defeat after losing to Glasgow Rocks and Bristol Flyers last weekend.

Plymouth have lost 10 of their past 11 league games with Worcester winning their previous two meetings this season.

But James admitted his team would need all the support they could get in a bid to overcome third-from-bottom Raiders.

“Hopefully it will be another big crowd and I hope they continue to get behind the team,” James added.

“Our game plan will be slightly different but we will try to come up with something that will help us disrupt Plymouth and hopefully we can get back on the winning trail.

“Plymouth are a team that are going through a bit of change as well so this might be the right time to be playing them.”