Marshall looks at options ahead of Cougars friendly

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Halifax coach Richard Marshall will use tonight’s second pre-season fixture at Keighley (7.45) to further assess his playmaking options.

Fax will field a mix of front line players and reserve grade talent against the Cougars, who are confident the fixture will go ahead after recent frosts.

But while captain Scott Murrell will sit the game out ahead of the club’s week-long training trip to Portugal on Friday, half backs Ben Johnston and Connor Robinson both play - Johnston from the start, Robinson from the bench - along with fit again full back Joe Martin.

There are second starts for young prop Elliot Morris, hooker Brandon Moore and centre Chester Butler, who all had their moments in Sunday’s 18-18 draw at Widnes, while Tommy Saxton, Adam Robinson and Andy Bracek add experience to the line up.

“It’s a good mixture of young players and a bit of experience to show them the way, but it’s an important game for us,” said Marshall.

“I want to have another look at Connor and Ben at half back and they’ll get the chance to play together at some stage.

“We’ve got Joe who plays a pivot-type game at full back and young Billy Gaylor, who can play at hooker or half; those are combinations we need to look at.

“I’m excited to see some of those young kids play as well.

“Brandon, Chester and Elliot showed up well at Widnes and we’ll see whether they can back that up.

“There’s Bob Holroyd too, who was at Warrington, and some of the younger ones I’ve never seen outside of a training environment.

“It should be an interesting evening.”

Halifax: Martin; Saxton, Eccleston, Butler, Dunne; Johnston, Gaylor; Morris, Moore, Holroyd, Robinson, Hema, Bracek. Subs: Robinson, Georgiou, Nelmes, Timmins, Syme, Reilly, Stringer, Baldwin