Fax likely to lose O’Brien, Wilkinson to return from Salford?

editorial image
0
Have your say

Halifax look likely to be without on-loan hooker Adam O’Brien for Sunday’s Championship date with French full-timers Toulouse at the Shay (3.0).

O’Brien left the field in the final 10 minutes of last weekend’s convincing 20-6 win over Rochdale at Spotland with a shoulder injury.

Fax’s backroom staff were upbeat on O’Brien’s condition after the game, but the Huddersfield number nine - who has added much needed spark to Fax’s attack in his two appearances - sat out training on Tuesday night and was due to be assessed by a specialist later this week.

Fax coach Richard Marshall said the final decision on whether O’Brien plays will rest not with him, but with the Giants’ medical team.

“Adam is having a scan and we’ll take it from there,” said Marshall, who was due to discuss the availability of Salford’s young hooker Matthew Wilkinson with Red Devils’ boss Ian Watson.

“He says he felt his shoulder come out and then go straight back in again, but it’s not felt too bad since then; he’s got good movement in it, so we’ll see.

“The bottom line though is that he’s Huddersfield’s player, so it’s their call.

“If you pushed me at the moment, I’d say he won’t play, but we’ll see.

“We’ve got Ben Kaye back, which helps us, potentially we’ve got young Matthew available, as well as Connor Robinson and Gareth Moore.

“It’s not ideal, because Adam’s been great for us, but if he doesn’t play it will present an opportunity for someone else.”

As well as O’Brien, forwards Simon Grix, Ed Barber and Jacob Fairbank all sat out Tuesday’s session, along with winger Rob Worrincy, who scored the match-clinching try against Hornets.

“It was a tough, physical game at the weekend and we had a few bumps and bruises,” said Marshall.

“But I’d hope that by the end of the week, most if not all of those players will be okay to play.”

Centre Ben Heaton, who missed the game against Hornets - his hometown club - with a leg injury that is causing Marshall increasing concern, will not play and nor will back rower Shane Grady (calf).

“Ben could be a while off,” admitted Marshall. “He’s got a nasty haematoma just above his knee and he’s still limping.

“Shane’s probably another week off.”

Toulouse, coached by Marshall’s friend Sylvain Houles, were promoted alongside Hornets last year and made a whirlwind start to Championship life with a 40-point flogging of Batley on the opening day.

Since then, they have been beaten by Bradford and Sheffield, although Marshall regards them as genuine contenders for a top four finish.

“They’re a good side; they were electric against Batley and they’re capable of playing some really good attacking rugby if they’re allowed to,” said Marshall, who identified the Cook Islands half back Johnathon Ford as a player to watch.

“I think they’ve struggled a little bit with conditions over the last couple of weeks, but I’d put them in the bracket of teams that are genuine top four contenders.”