HALIFAX coach Karl Harrison predicted nightmares for Championship defences next season after he re-signed hooker Sean Penkywicz for 2012.
The Leigh-based number nine, widely rated as the best hooker outside Super League, put pen to paper yesterday, ending the annual speculation that he could return to his hometown club.
And Harrison is excited by the combination Penkywicz will form with newly signed half backs Anthony Thackeray and Paul Handforth.
“Having Sean on board finalises that key six, seven, nine triangle,” said Harrison.
“Arguably, we’ve got the three best players in those positions in the Championship now and they are going to cause real problems for teams.
“Sean’s a player who hates losing, he understands the game and he has the ability to produce the unorthodox; if he puts all those ingredients together in the right context he is a great player.
“If he has a platform to work from, he is going to give Halifax another outstanding season.”
While Penkywicz is on board, his retention could raise question marks over the future of Fax’s other star number nine, the Ireland international Bob Beswick.
“Bob Beswick has been offered a contract, but so far that’s as far as it’s gone,” said Harrison, who hinted that Penkywicz will be more heavily used than under the Matt Calland and Martin Hall coaching regimes.
“Penkywicz is capable of playing 80 minutes and my philosophy has always been that if you can keep your best players on the field for the full game, then that’s what you do.
“A lot of teams rotate two specialist hookers every week, but for me it can sometimes be disruptive.”