Halifax captain Sean Penkywicz will leave the club at the end of the season to join Co-operative Championship rivals Leigh.
Penkywicz has been linked with the Centurions for weeks, but told Courier Sport after last week’s play off win over Keighley that he had “not signed anywhere yet”.
But after a midweek heart-to-heart with Fax coach Karl Harrison, the former Wales international confirmed he has now penned a contract with his hometown club ahead of Fax’s sudden-death Championship play-off against Sheffield at the Shay on Sunday (1.30).
“Sean’s been a good servant to Halifax throughout his career and I think he deserves the chance to say goodbye properly, which is something I never had,” said Harrison, who was infamously cut after nearly a decade captaining the club after the end of the 1999 Super League season.
“Whatever happens on Sunday, this will be our last home game this year, so it was now or never.
“I’m not sure of the timings with Leigh, that’s Sean’s business, but I think it’s probably been agreed for a while.
“It’s been a dream of his to play for his hometown club at some stage of his career and I can understand that.
“He feels he only has two more seasons left in his career so he had to do it now.
“We offered him a very good contract to stay with us, but it’s been clear to us for a while he was likely to leave and we’re already looking for a replacement.”
Harrison told the club’s players at training on Wednesday night and hinted he believes Penkywicz’s own form will now benefit ahead of the meeting with the Eagles.
“I think all the speculation may have had an impact on Sean,” said Harrison.
“He was in a difficult position where he didn’t want to upset anyone at Halifax and I’m not sure that’s helped his game in the last few weeks.
“I think it’s better for everyone that this is out in the open.”