Halifax RL: Paterson and Davies make side for Championship opener

Lee Paterson
Lee Paterson

Halifax boss Karl Harrison will omit goal-kicking centre Steve Tyrer and former Sheffield forward Sam Barlow from the side that will take on the Eagles in Thursday night’s Championship opener.

Utility back Lee Paterson has edged former Widnes and St Helens threequarter Tyrer out of the starting line up.

And young forward Ian Davies takes Scotland international Barlow’s place on the bench on the back of some consistent pre-season form.

“Barlow hasn’t done enough in pre-season and we don’t think he’s ready for a game like this, it’s as simple as that,” said Harrison.

“Ian Davies has been very solid, which is a quality you need against Sheffield, so he gets the shirt.

“There’s no doubting Sam Barlow’s talent, but it’s about form and it’s important the young players see the coaching staff are not afraid to make selections based on that.

“Steve Tyrer has been a little bit off, and although he’s trained really well since the Batley game both Paterson and Ben Heaton deserve those centre spots.”

Elsewhere, Adam Robinson moves into the back row to cover for the suspended Dane Manning, with new skipper Scott Murrell starting the game at loose forward.

“Robinson’s comfortable in that position and we’ve got the option of using both him and Ross Divorty in the middle of the field if we need to,” said Harrison.

Craig Ashall will start the game at hooker, with younger brother Karl on the bench alongside Davies, utility player Callum Casey and prop Tony Tonks.

Sheffield will have star full back Quentin Laulu-Togagae available after surgery, but former Fax back rower Joe Hirst misses out with a broken hand.

Halifax (probable): Fieldhouse; Sheriffe, Paterson, Heaton, Worrincy; Thackeray, Handforth; Ambler, C. Ashall, Bracek, Robinson, Divorty, Murrell. Subs: K. Ashall, Casey, Davies, Tonks.