Fax’s Handforth in hospital, out of Batley clash

Paul Handforth
Paul Handforth

Halifax vice captain Paul Handforth is out of Sunday’s game with Batley after being hospitalised with severe tonsilitis.

The former Bulldogs skipper has spent four days on a drip and was still under observation on Wednesday.

“Tiger’s not in a good way at all,” said Fax coach Karl Harrison.

Handforth’s most likely deputy, the young utility back Anthony Bowman, is also ruled out with a shoulder injury that is likely to keep him out of action for the rest of the seeason.

Fax now look like they are facing a straight choice between utility player Callum Casey and hooker Sean Penkywicz as a makeshift half back.

“We’re waiting for an exact diagnosis, but at this stage I’d be surprised if we saw Anthony play again this year,” said Harrison, who has already seen star back rower Dane Manning join Iain Morrison and Mick Nanyn on the list of long-term absentees.

The only good news for Fax is that back rowers Adam Robinson and Ross Divorty could both be fit to return against John Kear’s side.

“They both trained fully on Tuesday night and I’d hope to get some game time out of both of them,” said Harrison.