Halifax have confirmed the exit of coach Richard Marshall, almost 24 hours after the news broke that the club’s former front rower had left the Shay.
Marshall was told on Friday night his four and a half season tenure was at an end, leaving player-assistant coach Simon Grix in charge for Sunday’s crucial Championship fixture at in-form Sheffield Eagles (3.0).
Fax were silent on the subject until Saturday afternoon, when a post on the club’s Facebook page drew a line under Marshall’s time in charge.
In the statement, Marshall is quoted as saying: “It is with regret that my time at Halifax has come to an end. Both parties agree that it is time to part ways.
“I have enjoyed all the challenges and successes of the last four seasons and leave a legacy that includes three top-four finishes and consistently overachieving with a team of highly committed part-time players.
“I am proud of my role in developing local talent by introducing an academy and a successful reserve grade team.
“Currently 12 of the first team squad have come through our system with a further five also playing at International level. This is something I’m immensely proud of.
“I would like to thank everybody associated with the club. I have received the most amazing support from all involved, including staff, sponsors and loyal fans, but particularly I would like to thank the players who have wholeheartedly supported me and my vision for the club.
“I wish the club every success for the future and now look forward positively to my next role in professional rugby.”
Christian Lister, Halifax RLFC Director, said “On behalf of the entire Halifax team, I know how proud we are to have had Richard at the club and we wish him every success in his future. I am sure we will see Richard again and we will have the opportunity to welcome him, as a legend.”
The precise background to Marshall’s departure seems like to remain hazy, but with Fax’s play-off hopes very much in the balance after back to back Easter losses against Bradford and Toulouse, the club’s directors were under increasing pressure to try to do something to change the narrative of a troubled season.
Grix’s appointment, at least in the short term, is no surprise, with the former King Cross junior having long been clear about his own coaching ambitions.
Whether or not the former Warrington loose forward is seen as a long-term solution is likely to hinge on how much extra he can wring from Marshall’s injury-ravaged squad, starting in the Steel City on Sunday.