Grix adds brother to playmaking spine against Giants

James Woodburn-Hall and Halifax are back in action at Huddersfield
James Woodburn-Hall and Halifax are back in action at Huddersfield

Halifax coach Simon Grix will field his team’s new-look ‘spine’ for the first time when they play their second pre-season fixture at Huddersfield on Sunday (3.0).

Having fielded a fresh half back and hooker combination in last weekend’s 18-10 win over Hull - new recruits Tom Gilmore and Keal Carlile playing alongside Scott Murrell - Grix will add his older brother, full back Scott, to the equation against the Giants.

The former Huddersfield number one played for his hometown club on loan last summer before making a permanent switch this winter, a move that forced him to resign from his day job as the Giants’ Academy coach.

“All being well, Scott will start at full back, so we’ll get that first look at that spine of the team with the halves and the hooker,” said Grix, who is likely to use last week’s custodian Reece Chapman-Smith off the bench in what looks likely to be an 18-man selection.

“Full back is such a pivotal position now, almost like a third half back, and I’m quite excited to see how they go together.

“It takes time to build those relationships, but they’ve looked promising in training.

“Scott’s pretty meticulous and trains at the intensity he plays at, so their timing is already pretty good.

“It’s no reflection on young Reece either, because he did okay against Hull.

“He’s going to keep getting opportunities, keep getting feedback and the chance to build on what he’s doing.”

Fax, who have significant doubts over the fitness of Ed Barber and Matt Garside, are likely to welcome back prop Keegan Hirst, while another former Giant - the winger Jodie Broughton - could make his debut for his new club.

Grix said he expects Fax’s dual-registration partners to name a near full-strength side, including marquee half back signing Aidan Sezer, who played for Canberra in last year’s NRL Grand Final.

“I spoke to Simon (Woolford) and they’re going as strong as they can, at least for some of the game,” said Grix.

“That’s going to be a good test for us, because they’re a big, physical side with some very good players.

“It was nice to get a win last week, but am I expecting a win this week? Probably not.

“But I do want us to keep working on the things we did against Hull and show some physical courage against a tough side.”