Grix, Murrell set to start against Trinity

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Player-coaches Simon Grix and Scott Murrell are both expected to make their first appearances of pre-season when Halifax travel to Super League outfit Wakefield on Sunday (2.0).

The veteran duo, who double as boss Richard Marshall’s right hand men, will take their places in a much stronger line up than the one that sank 22-6 at Bradford on Boxing Day.

Grix is likely to come up against his older brother, Scott, who has been included in a near-full strength Trinity team that also features fit-again backline sensation Tom Johnstone, who missed most of last season with a knee injury.

“Scott and Simon will both play, all being well,” said Marshall.

“Neither of them will be out there for the full 80 minutes, but it’s a chance for them to get some game time and see where they’re at.

“I know Wakefield are putting out a strong team, so it will be a good test for us, with and without the ball.”

Marshall said hooker Ben Kaye and full back Will Sharp would also feature, along with the pick of the untried talent who featured at Odsal.

That could mean second appearances for the likes of Sion Jones, Jack Fairbank, trialist half back Adam Brook, who looks to have edged ahead of teenager Morgan Punchard in the race to understudy Murrell and regular scrumbase partner Ben Johnston.

“I thought Jack did pretty well and he got better as the game went on, which was a good sign,” said Marshall.

Potentially, former Trinity Academy player Kian Morgan could also feature against his former club.

Huddersfield-based Morgan, just 17, was offered a deal to stay at Belle Vue but opted to link with Fax on trial and apparently has already done enough to tip Marshall’s hand.

“We’re talking to Kian about a contract,” said Marshall.

“He’s trained with us for a week and played half a game at Bradford, but he’s clearly got some ability.

“He’s very young and physically he’s perhaps not quite there yet, but I think we’d like to help him develop his potential.”

Fax will be without several players through injury, with James Saltonstall (knee), Shane Grady (knee) and Ed Barber (knee and elbow) all joining long term absentee Adam Tangata on the sidelines.

Three more regulars - centre Steve Tyrer, utility back James Woodburn-Hall and prop Elliot Morris - will all have their fitness assessed at the end of the week before Marshall finalises his selection.