Fax bolster front row with Haggerty and Boyle as Grix pens new deal

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Halifax have completed the signing of forwards Matt Haggerty and Ryan Boyle for next season and have also re-signed the vastly experienced utility player Simon Grix on a two year deal.

Prop Haggerty, who cut his teeth in the Championship with Whitehaven, Barrow and Dewsbury before joining Super League outfit St Helens, links up with Richard Marshall’s side after leaving Langtree Park.

Boyle, 29, joined Fax on a season-long loan from the Tigers last summer and made an impressive debut in the Summer Bash drubbing of Featherstone Rovers at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road at the end of May.

Now the experienced forward, who has spent his entire career in the top flight with Cas and Salford, has penned a permanent deal with Fax.

“I am trying to build experience in the team,” said Marshall.

“Matt is a big, strong man, physically imposing, and he’ll bring those qualities to the team.

“He’s someone I’ve been aware of for a while and he knows what the Championship is all about.

“It didn’t quite happen for him when he moved to St Helens, but he’s certainly got potential and hopefully we can help him to fulfil that.

“Ryan is a quality player, a good professional and a family man, which are the kind of qualities that I value.

“He’s very good around the younger players and I know the young forwards we have, like Luke Nelmes and Elliot Morris, will benefit from his experience as they develop their own careers.

“It’s not an easy transition coming into the Championship, and a part time environment, after being in Super League for so long.

“I’ve done it myself and it’s tough, whether you’ve played two Super League games or 200.

“Ryan was very good for the first four or five games, but I’m not sure we saw the best of him after that.

“But with a good off season under his belt I am sure he will hit the ground running for us next year.

The retention of Grix is potentially Fax’s most significant moves of the year, given the Halifax-born player’s track record at the highest level with Warrington.

The former Fax junior returned to his hometown club on the back of a career threatening leg injury, but made an impressive return to action in the summer.

Grix’s greater challenges came off the field, with his young daughter’s illness eventually sidelining him for the season.

“I don’t think any of us can imagine what Simon went through this year,” said Marshall.

“He’s been through some incredibly difficult times off the field but hopefully there are better days ahead for him and his family.

“On the field, it’s obvious to everyone what he can do.

“In the games he played he was class and the difference he makes in training to the players around him is massive.

“I’m really looking forward to working with him for the next two years.”