Fax confirm dual-registration deal with Castleford

Halifax have confirmed their heavily-rumoured dual registration deal with Super League high flyers Castleford Tigers.

The arrangement with the Wheldon Road outfit, who dominated the top flight in 2017 but lost out to Leeds in the Grand Final, replaces Fax’s single-season tie up with Salford.

In turn, that deal replaced another short lived link up with Hull KR in 2015.

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In theory, it will give Fax access to some of Daryl Powell’s squad on a regular basis, although Fax boss Richard Marshall has also talked up ties between the coaching staff and player sharing at both Academy and reserve level.

Realistically, Fax could have the likes of Australian winger Jy Hitchcox, Papua New Guinea speedster Gary Lo, newly-signed prop Mitch Clark and teenage half back sensation Jake Trueman turning out in the blue and white.

“I’ve met Daryl a couple of times to discuss things and I’m excited about this,” said Marshall.

“They were the best team in Super League this year, certainly the most exciting to watch, and they’re a vibrant, progressive club.

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“I’ve worked with Daryl before when we were both involved in the England set up and we’ve already got a good relationship, which saw young Brandon Douglas come to us on loan this summer.

“There’ll be some players on dual-reg, perhaps some on season-long loan deals and there’ll be the chance for myself, Simon Grix and Scott Murrell to spend some time with the Castleford coaching staff as well.

“There’ll probably be some player movement at reserve and Academy level too, in both directions.”

This year’s deal with Salford, much heralded last autumn, was a mixed bag as far as Fax were concerned, with some players - notably the prop Daniel Murray and the young hooker Josh Wood - having an impact, while others were less impressive.

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Privately, Fax must have been disappointed they were denied access to Ian Watson’s more senior players and the relationship hit the rocks in July when Murray was pulled from Marshall’s squad the night before his squad flew to France for a crucial league game against Toulouse.

“Things were probably beyond repair after that,” admitted Marshall.

“We had some good players from Salford, and if I’d been in Ian’s shoes I’d probably have done the same thing.

“But it’s like anything else in life, you learn from these experiences, just as we did from working with Hull KR in 2015, and take those lessons with you.

“There’ll no doubt be challenges along the way, but I’d hope we’ll be able to deal with them.”