Fax’s Johnston finally revelling in full back role

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Halifax’s Ben Johnston says he is “loving it” at full back ahead of Sunday’s Championship blockbuster at Leigh (3.0).

The fleet footed former Castleford half back has cut an almost reluctant figure as Fax’s last line of defence at times after being moved there by coach Richard Marshall this year.

Johnston had a lengthy spell out of the side in the spring before returning as an interchange half back, but has now started the last three games at full back following an injury to Miles Greenwood.

A solid start at Dewsbury was followed by a fine performance at Bradford and a dominant attacking effort at Swinton, where he scored two tries and made two more for centre Ed Barber in a blistering opening half hour.

“I’m loving it at full back at the moment; I’m stringing a few games together now and we’ve got a settled side on the field,” said Johnston.

“I think most players are confidence players, sometimes it just takes one or two good games to turn your whole season around and that’s probably happened to me over the last few weeks.

“Sunday was good; it happens like that sometimes, just being in the right place at the right time.

“We had good shape in attack; Gareth and Scott are always putting people in the right positions and that makes it easier.

“I was lucky enough to get on the back of things again.

“We are right in the mix now for the top four and it’s down to us, the ball is in our court now.

“We want to end the season unbeaten and that’s one game out of four ticked off now.

“Leigh set the bar really for this division, they’re a great team.

“There’s a bit of rivalry there and I think everyone is looking forward to the challenge this weekend.”

And Johnston paid tribute to the experienced Greenwood - the player he is currently keeping out of the side - for his role in his continued development.

“I’m learning all the time and I’ve got Miles, who’s been one of the best full backs in this league for a few years now, helping me out,” said Johnston.

“He’s got a lot of good qualities I can learn from.

“When our forwards are rolling teams like they have been the last few weeks, it makes it a lot easier for us pivots to work on the back of that.

“We probably get the glory, but it’s the hard work in the middle that gets us there.”