Harrison: I won’t risk Heaton

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Halifax coach Karl Harrison has ruled centre Ben Heaton out of both tonight’s under 23 fixture against Featherstone at the Shay and Friday’s Northern Rail Cup semi final at Sheffield.

Heaton, the former Oldham youngster who was one of the success stories of the club’s early season, has not played a first team game since injuring his ankle in the Challenge Cup reverse at Leigh at the end of April.

An attempted comeback in last week’s second-string win over Keighley ended with the player limping off, with Harrison admitting the problem is causing concern.

“Ben won’t be playing this week at all,” said Harrison.

“He broke down in the 23s last Wednesday, although he was able to train fully again on Monday.

“I am not sure where we go with him from here; maybe he goes back to the specialist, it’s been nine weeks now.

“I just don’t want to risk aggravating the injury by playing him if he’s not ready.”

The good news for Harrison was that another centre, Steve Tyrer, emerged unscathed from last week’s league defeat by Featherstone, his first appearance after two months out with knee ligament damage.

“We took a bit of a gamble with Steve, but he came through okay,” said Harrison.

“Performance wise he was maybe a bit off, but that was probably to be expected.

“It was a case of needs must, we were short of numbers in that position.

“He’ll be better for the run out.”