THE extent of new coach Karl Harrison’s Halifax revolution was confirmed today, with club bosses releasing a list of 11 high-profile stars who are being cut for 2012.
Ireland international hooker Bob Beswick is arguably the biggest casualty after establishing himself as one of the club’s most consistent performers during a three-season stay in West Yorkshire.
The other names on the document - which was due to be circulated to rival clubs by the Rugby Football League later today - are Australian half back Ben Black, full back Miles Greenwood, prop Neil Cherryholme, back rower Ryan Clayton, centres Dylan Nash and Jon Goddard, half back Danny Jones and forwards Paul Smith, David Larder and Michael Ostick.
Some of the 11 have already found new homes, Black joining Harrison’s old club Batley on a one year deal.
Jones, who only returned to his hometown club last autumn, is being tipped for a quick return to Keighley after the Cougars secured promotion via yesterday’s Championship One Grand Final.
Beswick, who effectively missed out to Sean Penkywicz as the one specialist hooker in Harrison’s new-look side, is expected to join Super League side Wakefield, while Goddard has been targeted by Doncaster.
Larder has already confirmed his retirement, while Smith is also understood to be considering ending his career.
Coupled with Harrison’s re-signings, it leaves just three of Fax’s 2011 squad unaccounted for - veteran props Jim Gannon and Frank Watene and back rower Stephen Bannister.
Harrison continues to be active in the transfer market, with reports over the weekend linking him with Featherstone’s versatile forward Ross Divorty, the son of his former Fax teammate Gary, and another of his former Batley proteges, the prop Sean Hesketh.
Rochdale’s highly-rated utility forward Craig Ashall, who can play either back row or hooker, is another name in the frame.
St Helens will be driven by the desire to send James Graham out with a second Super League ring when they take on old adversaries Leeds in Saturday’s Grand Final at Old Trafford.
The England front rower, who was a member of Saints’ title-winning team in 2006 but has been on the losing side in each of the last four finals, will make his last appearance for Saints as he prepares to embark on a new career in Australia with Canterbury Bulldogs.
Three of those four Old Trafford defeats were at the hands of Leeds and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, who has reached his maiden Grand Final in his first season at St Helens, admits there will be no shortage of motivation for his side.
“It’s going to be a stormer,” he said. “A couple of the boys say we owe Leeds one.
“It would be nice for the boys that are leaving, especially for Jammer (Graham) to go away with a grand Final under his belt in his last year in England. Hopefully all the boys will be pushing for that.”
Former Harlequins prop McCarthy-Scarsbrook and ex-Castleford centre Michael Shenton will both be making their Grand Final debuts after joining Saints in the last close season and playing key roles in their march to a sixth successive trip to Old Trafford.
McCarthy-Scarsbrook added: “I’m thrilled to bits, I don’t know how to put it into words. I’m really looking forward to next week. Obviously all them boys have done it before except me and Shenny.
“Moving from London, I wanted to reach Grand Finals and to do it in my first year is going to be awesome.”
Co-captain Paul Wellens scored the 200th try of his career in Saturday night’s 26-18 victory over defending champions Wigan.