Harrison will tinker with side for Cup date

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Halifax coach Karl Harrison will again make a series of changes to his side ahead of Sunday’s fourth round Challenge Cup tie against Barrow at the Shay (3.0).

Harrison tinkered extensively with his line up ahead of the third round game against Oxford, which Fax won by 50 points, and reaped the rewards last weekend when his top team thrashed Leigh 60-10 in the Championship.

The former Test forward will take a similar approach on Sunday, with next weekend’s crunch league game at Featherstone looming on the horizon.

“There will be changes, but they’ll be limited to a certain extent because people need to keep playing,” said Harrison, who named young prop Iain Davies and wingers Rikki Sheriffe and Wayne Reittie as likely call-ups.

“We have worked very hard this year, in training and on game day, on building our intensity and we need to maintain that.

“I think the key at the moment is that only two, maybe three, players will feel they are sure of selection each week.

“Beyond that, we have already shown that we can swap things around with affecting the way the team plays.

“People know that if they don’t perform, they won’t play the following week.

“As a coach, that’s a situation you find yourself in very, very rarely in your career.”

A key selection will be at hooker, where Paul Handforth, who suffered a deadleg against Leigh, seems unlikely to be risked.

The Ashall brothers, Craig and Karl, are potential alternatives, although Karl is still awaiting specialist clearance after damaging his eye socket against Oxford.

Keith Holden, the former Warrington junior who made his senior debut in that game, is also an option.

The Raiders are currently adrift near the foot of the ladder, sitting second from bottom with just two wins in 11 starts.

But while the Craven Park side are a shadow of the all-star team that beat Fax in the 2009 Grand Final, Harrison remains wary.

“They’re solid and they’ve got some dangerous strike players on the edges in Liam Harrison and Kurt Haggerty,” he said.

“We need to make sure we’re defensively strong in that area.”