Harrison: Fax ‘too big’ for Super League partnership

Halifax coach Karl Harrison has said the club is “too big” to join other Championship sides in ‘partnering’ with a Super League side.

Several Championship outfits - Batley, Dewsbury, Hunslet and Swinton, among others - have paired themselves with top flight sides, giving them access to up to five dual-registered players as well as training support and facilities.

But Harrison’s Northern Rail Cup winners, plus NRC and Championship Grand Finalists Featherstone, have remained stand-alone, while eventual champions Sheffield Eagles have opted for a slightly different tie-up with French side Limoux.

“I just think this is too big a club to get involved in that,” said Harrison.

“We have aspirations to be back in Super League and I think as soon as you start merging with teams that already in there you give that ambition away.

“I’m not prepared to accept us being a feeder side for a Super League club, the directors aren’t prepared to accept that and I don’t think the fans are either.

“If you look at the teams that have gone into these arrangements - Batley, Dewsbury, those kind of clubs - they do not have that Super League ambition.

“Halifax is potentially a bigger club than a few of the teams that are already there; support-wise and facilities-wise.

“We weren’t prepared to give that up and looking at what Featherstone have done, neither were they.”

Harrison accepted that Fax could perhaps have made short-term gains on the field, but in the long run he insisted he is unsure how coaches will deal with their temporary recruits.

“I used the dual-reg system a little bit when I was at Batley and it worked well for us,” said Harrison.

“But that was a different situation and we were talking one or two players, not five.

“From a coaching perspective, it’s going to be an interesting challenge to integrate those players into your systems.

“They’re not going to be doing a pre-season with you, for example, which is when a lot of structures are put in place.”