Harrison still hoping to fill vacant squad numbers

Josh Greenwood MacDonald
Josh Greenwood MacDonald

Halifax boss Karl Harrison announced the club’s squad numbers for 2014 and confirmed he still hopes to allocate the three blank numbers in his 27-man line up.

There are no major surprises in the former Great Britain prop’s roster, although winger Rob Worrincy moves from his traditional spot at 23 to the number two shirt, with Ben Heaton claiming the number four alongside fellow centre Steve Tyrer.

Captain Scott Murrell stays at six, alongside new half back recruit Simon Brown.

New hooker Ben Kaye is at nine, with fellow rake Paul Mennell at 14, centre Danny Cowling is at 16, half back Ben Johnston at 18, prop Sam Brooks at 24, winger Gareth Potts at 25 and young utility back Jack Holmes at 26.

But with the 20, 21 and 22 shirts remaining vacant, Harrison is not closing the door on new additions just yet.

“We are always looking and ideally we will fill those places, but there are obviously monetary and salary cap considerations as well,” said Harrison.

“We have a few young players training with the first team at the moment, so perhaps the potential is there for some of them to step up, or it could be someone from outside the club.

“We’ll see how people shape up once the friendlies start in January and take things from there.”

Of those young players, Harrison has already identified former Bradford winger Jarrod Ward as a player with first team potential, while the former Siddal junior Joe Martin and another ex-Bull, Josh Casey, are also on the radar.

Fax have taken a third Bradford player, the Halifax-based stand off Josh Greenwood MacDonald, on trial as the fallout from Super League’s decision to scrap over-age Academy rugby continues to mount.

“We’ve spoken about Jarrod already, Joe Martin could be close - he’s a confident character - and Casey has trained with us now and done okay,” said Harrison, who picked up Brooks from Wigan, Johnston from Castleford and Holmes from Salford on in similar circumstances this winter.

“I’ve said it a million times already, but Super League clubs are having to make calls on these kids at 19 years old now and it’s too soon.

“The flip side of that is that their loss is our gain.

“There are some high quality young players out there and hopefully we can nurture that talent and bring them through to play first team football.

“They’ll all get a chance and then it will be up to them.”

1 Ryan Fieldhouse, 2 Rob Worrincy, 3 Steve Tyrer, 4 Ben Heaton, 5 Wayne Reittie, 6 Scott Murrell, 7 Simon Brown, 8 Tony Tonks, 9 Ben Kaye, 10 Luke Ambler, 11 Dane Manning, 12 Andy Bracek, 13 Luke Adamson, 14 Paul Mennell, 15 Adam Robinson, 16 Danny Cowling, 17 Ben Davies, 18 Ben Johnston, 19 Keith Holden, 23 Callum Casey, 24 Sam Brooks, 25 Gareth Potts, 26 Jack Holmes, 27 Ross Divorty