Halifax coach Richard Marshall looks likely to recall key forward Adam Tangata and hooker Ben Kaye when his side go in search of back to back wins at Rochdale on Sunday (3.0).
Tangata sat out Sunday’s 42-16 victory over Sheffield through suspension, the result of a late skirmish against Featherstone on the opening day of the season.
Kaye has not played since that game because of a shoulder injury, but returned to training this week, with Marshall confirming the former Leeds player was “in contention”.
In the interim, Fax have snared Huddersfield’s Halifax-born number nine Adam O’Brien on a month’s loan, while dual-registered Salford hooker Matthew Wilkinson was impressive against the Eagles, meaning Kaye’s return is less of a certainty.
“Adam will come back in and Ben is available again,” said Marshall.
“I don’t think Shane Grady will make this week, and Ben Heaton won’t, but we have some options.
“Where Adam plays and who we select at hooker are questions we will answer later in the week.
“We had a few bumps and bruises after the Sheffield game so we only had 16 players running on Tuesday night, but by the weekend we’ll have a few options open to us.
“The review process after the Sheffield game was 100 per cent different to the week before after Batley.
“There were things we need to be a lot better at; our defence is nowhere near good enough yet, nowhere near.
“But at the same time there were things we saw against Sheffield that we haven’t seen since last summer.
“It’s been a long time coming and we need to make sure we build on that at Rochdale.”
It seems unlikely there will be further changes to Marshall’s line up, with several players - Alex Mammone, Chester Butler, Luke Nelmes and Connor Robinson - all featuring in a reserve fixture at Keighley on Wednesday night.
Half back Gareth Moore did not feature in that game, but seems unlikely to dislodge Ben Johnston or Scott Murrell against Hornets either.
There will be no shortage of familiar faces in the Rochdale line up, with four players who were at the Shay last season - Gavin Bennion, Miles Greenwood, Ryan Maneely and Jake Eccleston - all in the line up that only lost out 28-18 to red hot title favourites Hull KR last weekend.
“They were probably a little bit unlucky in that game,” said Marshall.
“They were in touch all the way through; it was a big occasion for them and they could have pinched it.
“We know quite a bit about their players individually through coaching them, either at Halifax or Warrington, and I know their coach Alan Kilshaw from Warrington as well.
“They’re a confident side with plenty of enthusiasm and they’ll be looking to cause us some issues.
“But we’re focused on building on what we did against Sheffield.”