Aussies wait for call ups

HALIFAX coach Matt Calland will leave it late before deciding whether to include Australian pair Dylan Nash and Ben Black in his side for tomorrow’s Co-operative Championship showdown with unbeaten Leigh at the Shay.

Nash was holding down a centre spot in Calland’s side earlier in the year but has missed the last month with a knee injury.

Half back Black opted not to travel to Toulouse for last weekend’s Northern Rail Cup quarter final because his partner was expecting the couple’s first child, with Calland fielding Danny Jones and Graham Holroyd at the scrum base in a 36-26 win.

Jesse Ray Black finally arrived at 2.15am yesterday morning, weighing in at 6lb 14oz, leaving Calland with a decision to make at today’s final training session.

“We’ll see how they both pull up today,” said Calland, who has included both men in his initial 21-man selection.

The squad also features recalls for Lee Paterson and Stephen Bannister, who were both dropped following the home defeat by Featherstone, and Makali Aizue, whose visa restrictions ruled him out last weekend.

“Dylan’s trained well this week, so we’ll see how he reacts to that, while Ben’s obviously had a lot on his mind over the last few days,” added Calland.

“Danny and Graham played pretty well last weekend and Danny in particular perhaps had his best game since he came back.

“Those two haven’t actually played that much together and their combination will certainly get better the more time they get.

“We’ll have to wait and see.”

Despite Fax’s none-from-three league form, Calland was positive about tomorrow’s encounter, although he acknowledged the need for consistency across the 80 minutes.

“Leigh are the form team in the competition,” said Calland.

“We know we are going to have to be at the top of our game for the full game.

“Their pack has been on fire this year, and if we are going to have a chance we need to meet fire with fire in the middle of the field.

“But there were some signs of the confidence coming back in Toulouse and I’m very hopeful we can improve again tomorrow.”

Match preview - page 30