Halifax RL: Holden keeps spot, Murrell and Tonks return

Scott Murrell
Scott Murrell

Young hooker Keith Holden is almost certain to keep his place in the side for Halifax’s Championship clash with North Wales Crusaders at the Shay on Sunday (3.0).

Holden, the former Warrington and Widnes junior, posted a solid try-scoring performance in Sunday’s 20-20 draw at Workington.

And Fax boss Karl Harrison, who will welcome back captain Scott Murrell and prop Tony Tonks, confirmed Holden was likely to edge out one of his more experienced rivals, Paul Mennell and Ben Kaye, for a place on the bench.

“Keith played well, he scored a nice try and didn’t do much wrong, certainly nothing that would justify leaving him out,” said Harrison, who could also recall winger Gareth Potts after he was rested for the trip to Cumbria.

“He’s been really patient this year, he’s waited for his chance and now he’s got it he’s taking it, which is exactly what we asked him to do.

“He’ll be on the bench, Murrell will come back into the halves and we’ll take things from there.

“We missed Murrell and Tonks’ leadership and drive last week, which I was disappointed about.

“We were very quiet and other people need to step up to the plate.

“North Wales have had some good results and some not so good, but they’re a dangerous team.”

Harrison confirmed he was still trying to add to his squad, but admitted existing dual-registration agreements - which gave Workington access to Wigan’s star youngsters Dom Manfredi, Jack Murphy and Sam Powell - and mid-season injuries at other clubs had hampered his search.

“We’re looking, we’re asking questions, but it’s very difficult and very frustrating,” said Harrison.

“It’s a question of being patient and being persistent.”

Harrison confirmed that former Salford prop Jack Spencer, who he coached as a teenager at the Willows, had trained with Fax this week after a stint in France.

“Spencer’s a talented player; he’s got good skills and he’s in good shape,” said Harrison.

“Sunday might be too soon for him, but I wouldn’t rule it out completely.”