Fax boss wrestles with injury crisis ahead of Eagles trip

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Coach Richard Marshall admitted his Halifax squad is “busted” ahead of Sunday’s trip to in-form Championship rivals Sheffield Eagles.

With a clutch of senior players on the sidelines already - including skipper Scott Murrell - the club collected another raft of injuries in the 56-4 Easter Monday thrashing by Toulouse.

Marshall, who flew back to England with his players on Tuesday afternoon, listed prop Harry Kidd, utility back James Saltonstall, back rower Liam Cooper and prop Jacob Fairbank as significant doubts for the trip to the Steel City.

“It was a really, really tough weekend for everyone,” said Marshall.

“As a squad, we are busted at the moment and I don’t think that situation is going to improve before the weekend.

“Harry’s damaged his knee, and we don’t know the full extent of that yet, Jame has hurt his back, Cooper’s got what might be a tear in his adductor and Jacob got another bang on his neck.

“When you add those four to the players already missing, we are scratching around.

“There’s a chance we might get Simon Grix back and there’s a chance Chester Butler might be fit to play, but neither of those is certain.

“The reserves played on Thursday night and some of those young players in there - Connor Davies, Oliver Waite - have the chance to try and put themselves in the frame.

“Sheffield are playing really well; they’re very methodical and efficient, like Bradford, but probably with a bit more flair.

“It’s certainly a challenge for us at the moment.”

Marshall also gave his opinion on Fax’s Easter schedule, that saw them left without training facilities in Toulouse after their early-hours flight and then face a four-hour coach transfer to Limoges on Tuesday.

“The travel is part of it, but you get there and there’s nowhere to train,” he said.

“We found a pool, which was closed, but Andy Holleyhead (Fax conditioner), who was brilliant all weekend, convinced them to open it for us so the players could at least do some recovery.

“It’s not an excuse, but when you’re playing two full time teams in four days everything adds up to make the job that little bit harder.”