Fax look to do Gil deal

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HALIFAX will attempt to renegotiate the terms of Crusaders prop Gil Dudson’s Shay deal in a last-ditch bid to allow him to play in Thursday night’s Northern Rail Cup semi final at Featherstone.

Dudson is currently on a dual-registration deal, featuring in the wins over Leigh and Hunslet since arriving from Wrexham a fortnight ago, and both Fax and the player had believed he would be free to play against Rovers at Post Office Road.

But a Rugby Football League circular late on Friday reiterated a ruling that dual-reg players must have appeared at an earlier stage of the NRC in order to play in the last four.

The same restrictions do not apply to players signed on traditional loans though, and Courier Sport understands Fax will now try to do a new deal with the Crusaders that would allow the 20-year-old to feature.

“If Gil was on loan rather than dual-registration, he would be able to play providing he was registered by midday on Thursday,” said Fax chairman Michael Steele.

“The rules do appear to be rather contradictory.

“The coaching staff have been made aware of the situation.”

Fax’s chances of success are likely to hinge on whether Crusaders coach Iestyn Harris is willing to write off Dudson, who played the first seven Super League games of 2011, for the next four weeks as players cannot be recalled by their parent clubs in the first month of a loan agreement.

Featherstone are in a similar situation, having signed the Wakefield prop Ben Gledhill on a dual-reg contract at the end of last month.

HALIFAX’S under 23s head to Odsal tonight for the second round of the Rugby Football League’s summer nines tournament (7.30).

Martin Gonzalez’s young side, who suffered a hat-trick of losses on the opening day at Belle Vue a week ago, will take on the Bulls, Featherstone and Castleford.

“It’s going to be a really young side tonight,” said Gonzalez, who had 13 players unfit to train on Sunday morning and has the added complication of Friday night’s home league fixture with Featherstone (7.30) to contend with.

“It’s a challenge for the boys, but they’ll give it their best shot.”

Fax host the next round of the competition at the Shay a week today.