Key trio back in the frame for Dewsbury warm up

Craig Ashall
Craig Ashall
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Halifax will welcome back three members of their Northern Rail Cup winning side when they travel to Dewsbury on Sunday for their first warm-up fixture of 2013.

Full back Ryan Fieldhouse, hooker Craig Ashall and winger Rob Worrincy all missed the Boxing Day win at Keighley through illness, injury and family commitments respectively.

But the trio are all likely to start against Glenn Morrison’s side as Shay boss Karl Harrison turns one eye towards the Championship opener against reigning champions Sheffield Eagles at the end of the month.

“Ashy’s heel is okay now, Fieldhouse is over his illness and Rob’s available again,” confirmed Harrison

“They all need to play and they all will play.

“Ryan has the squad number one and he is our first choice full back, but he is not guaranteed a place in the team by any means.

“I want to have another look at Anthony Thackeray and Rikki Sheriffe in that position as well.

“Ashy will get a chance at hooker and a chance at loose forward and we’ll see how he goes.

“Generally, all the players need to start trying to influence our selection discussions for the first league game now.”

Ashall’s inclusion raises the prospect of him playing alongside his younger brother Karl, who made an impressive debut at hooker against the Cougars after his close-season switch from Swinton.

“I thought Karl really gave us a different dimension,” said Harrison.

“We know his potential, but I think he is thriving from being surrounded by a better quality of player.

“He is a young player who is unproven at the top of the Championship, but he knows he has a great opportunity here and he wants to take it.”

Close-season signing Scott Murrell is one potential absentee this weekend after suffering a suspected broken hand against Keighley.

The former Hull KR and Leeds playmaker is currently in plaster as a precaution, although Harrison remains hopeful of a positive outcome.

“Scott’s hand was sore after the game and it was still giving him trouble on the Friday, so he went for an X-ray,” said Harrison.

“Bascially, the hospital think there is a fracture, but Scott broke the same hand last year and thinks it might be related to that.

“He’s going to sit down with our doctor and assess things and we’ll take it from there.”

Harrison is still without long-term injury absentees Iain Morrison (knee), Anthony Bowman (shoulder), Mick Nanyn (knee), Wayne Reittie (jaw) and Tony Tonks (arm).

But Nanyn and Tonks are both edging closer to a return, with Tonks now back in virtually full training.

Generally, Harrison urged his players to improve on the promising form they showed at Keighley, with the televised league opener against the Eagles already on his mind.

“We’re turning one eye towards the Sheffield game now,” said Harrison.

“There were a lot of positives for us from Boxing Day, the boys did a lot of things really well, but we need to be better on Sunday.

“I’m looking for our first contact in defence to be better and I want us to be crisper with the ball.”