Halifax will be without key back rower Dane Manning for their Championship opener against Sheffield after he was banned for two games by the Rugby Football League’s disciplinary committee.
The former Batley, Featherstone and Leeds player, the stand-out performer in the pre-season defeat at Dewsbury last weekend and arguably the club’s best defensive performer, was charged with grade B striking after fighting with Keighley player-coach Paul March in the Boxing Day win at Cougar Park.
Manning was handed the maximum two game suspension at a hearing on Tuesday night, meaning he will miss both the warm up fixture against Batley on January 20 as well as the meeting wiith Mark Aston’s Grand Final winners.
“There’s no doubt it’s a blow for us,” said coach Karl Harrison.
“I thought Dane was outstanding against Dewsbury.”