matt wields axe for trip

HALIFAX coach Matt Calland has delivered on his pledge to make changes ahead of tonight’s Northern Rail Cup clash at Whitehaven (7.30), axing seven of the side which flopped in last weekend’s league opener in Toulouse.

Fax went down 26-12 in France, a performance that a fuming Calland branded as ‘unacceptable’.

As a result, full back Miles Greenwood, centres James Haley and Dylan Nash, stand off Graham Holroyd, and forwards Michael Ostick, David Larder and Sam Barlow all drop out of the squad completely for tonight’s game.

BARLA trialist Ryan Fieldhouse takes the number one shirt, with Jon Goddard - playing his first game since snapping his Achilles tendon last August - and Lee Paterson, who has recovered from an ankle injury, coming into midfield.

Joe Chandler, Ryan Clayton and Paul Smith are likely to form a new look back row, with Frank Watene and Makali Aizue recalled at prop.

“It was a lazy, lethargic performance at the weekend and there had to be changes,” said Calland.

“I’ve got every faith in the players who will miss out tonight, and I am sure they will go away and work even harder to get back into the team.

“But the people who are coming in deserve a chance to show what they can do.

It is the inclusion of Fieldhouse that is arguably the most eye-catching, with the Leigh East back still playing as an amateur ahead of this summer’s BARLA tour to Australia.

“Ryan’s done well in all the games he’s played,” said Calland.

“He’s obviously talented and I’ve no hesitation in putting him in tonight.”

Calland confirmed that both Aizue and Watene - neither of whom travelled to France - would have played against Toulouse had they been available.

“They give us so much punch and that’s going to be important tonight,” said Calland.