Butler and McGrath set for Salford starts

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Halifax’s dual-registration deal with Salford took an unexpected turn on Friday when the club allowed young backs Connor McGrath and Chester Butler to join the Red Devils for this weekend’s pre-season game against Hull FC.

An announcement on Fax’s website described the deal as a ‘one game’ loan, which was apparently initiated by Reds’ boss Ian Watson.

“Myself and Ian feel like it will be a great opportunity for two talented young players to get a feel for Super League,” said Marshall, who used Salford’s 19 year old back rower Liam Bent in all three of his side’s warm up fixtures.

“They asked for two outside backs and we’ve provided them.

For a team without a reserve grade, I definitely think the one-match loan period will show how this partnership can be mutually beneficial.”

Both McGrath and Butler have links with the Reds, the former having spent time in their junior set up and the latter the grandson of the former Fax and Salford sensation Colin Dixon.

Courier Sport also understands that Fax have lost their young hooker Brandon Moore for up to two months with a broken hand, an injury sustained against Salford last weekend.

Moore’s absence limits Fax’s options ahead of a crucial opening eight days of the Championship season, with Fax facing top four rivals Featherstone and Batley in the first two rounds.