Centre pair fight for kicking job

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HALIFAX boss Karl Harrison has joked he may need to a “flip a coin” to separate centres Mick Nanyn and Steve Tyrer in the battle for the club’s coveted goal-kicking job.

Harrison’s close-season recruitment drive has left Fax with four of the best marksmen outside Super League, with Nanyn, ex-Widnes and St Helens player Tyrer and former Batley half back Paul Handforth joining threequarter Lee Paterson - the top points scorer outside the top flight in 2010 - on the Shay roster.

But Paterson will be sidelined until March with a long-term knee injury, while Harrison hinted that Handforth was not considered a frontline option ahead of the Boxing Day friendly with neighbours Keighley.

“The goal kicking is something we have talked about and the Keighley game will be the first step in sorting that out,” said Harrison.

“I spoke to Tyrer and Nanyn last week; they both want the job, they’re both very confident in their ability and they’ve both got great track records in that department.

“Paterson is on the same kind of level when he’s fit and in form, but he’s not available to play yet.

“Handforth was a makeshift kicker at Batley last year and, to be fair, he did a fantastic job.

“But I think Tiger will have enough on his plate so I think it’s something we will be taking off him.”

That leaves Tyrer and Nanyn to fight it out, with Nanyn, who will be playing for his first Yorkshire club after spells with Swinton, Rochdale, Whitehaven, Widnes, Oldham, Leigh and Harlequins, gunning for the 32 points he needs to move into sixth in the game’s all-time points scoring charts.

The 29-year-old Wigan-born player, a member of the Leigh team that beat Fax in July’s Northern Rail Cup final, has amassed a career total of 3,514 points and is closing in on former St Helens forward Kel Coslett.

“Nanyn’s broken records wherever he has played, and if we can help him break a few more then we will do,” said Harrison.

“But that won’t happen if it’s to the detriment of the team; there’s a lot of competition for backline places and both Nanyn and Tyrer have to make the side first.

“We’ll see how things pan out, but it’s nice problem for us to have. I might have to flip a coin in the end.

“Either way, goal-kicking is a crucial skill in big games and you’d hope we’d be successful in that area.”

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Australian second row forward Ben Galea has been appointed the new captain of Hull Kingston Rovers.

The 33-year-old said on Twitter: “Just been announced captain of Hull KR for 2012 very proud and honoured to lead this great club.”

Australian compatriot Micky Vella retired at the end of the last campaign which provided the opportunity for Galea to take over.

Galea is in the last year of his contract with Rovers - having signed a one-year extension in July.

He was named in the Super League dream team of 2009 having joined Hull Kingston Rovers soon after winning the NRL championship with Wests Tigers.

Galea begun his career with Balmain, before becoming part of the merged Wests Tigers.