Halifax have released centre Sam Smeaton to allow him to sign a permanent deal at Batley, although the former Featherstone player cannot play for the Bulldogs in Sunday’s pivotal Championship fixture at Swinton.
Smeaton joined Fax on a one year deal last autumn but lost his place to a resurgent Ben Heaton in late spring and subsequently joined League 1 York on loan.
With no contract offer forthcoming for 2017, coach Richard Marshall has released Smeaton with immediate effect, despite losing centre Steve Tyrer for the season with a broken arm sustained in last weekend’s loss to Featherstone.
“It’s been difficult for Sam; he hasn’t been offered anything for 2017 and he had the chance to join Batley for this season and next,” said Marshall, whose side host London at the Shay on Sunday (3.0) in a game that will finally settle their place in either the Championship Shield or the Super 8s Qualifiers.
“We’ve agreed with Batley that he can’t play on Sunday though.
“Steve’s having the op on his arm this week so we’ll know more then, but he won’t play again this season.
“We’ve got cover for those positions; Ed Barber, Nick Rawsthorne, Chester Butler.”
With the Championship transfer deadline looming on Friday, Fax look unlikely to make additions, although Marshall confirmed that forward Adam Robinson would return from his loan spell at York.
But hooker Ryan Maneely, who is at Rochdale, and winger Tommy Saxton, who is also at York, are expected to remain with their temporary employers until the end of the season.