Karl questions Barlow’s Scots appearances

HALIFAX coach Karl Harrison has questioned why Scotland forward Sam Barlow was allowed to play in this autumn’s international fixtures after the player was ruled out for three months after undergoing ankle surgery.

Barlow’s operation - on an injury that has dogged him since last season - revealed more damage than expected.

The former Siddal junior now seems certain to miss the first month of the 2012 season.

“Barlow has had his operation down in Wales and we’ve been told it was worse than they had thought,” said Harrison, who broke the news to around 300 fans at last night’s Meet the Players event at the Shay.

“He’s in cast as we speak and he’s now looking at a three month rehab programme.

“Until I see the full medical report, that’s as much as I know, but it’s obviously not looking good.

“I’m a bit disappointed with how it has been handled.

“He did the injury last season, but he’s played for Scotland, he’s played in James Haley’s testimonial.

“It’s going to have an impact on what could be a very important season for him.

“In my eyes, he shouldn’t have been playing in those matches.

“When we built the team we budgeted for five, possibly six, front rowers.

“At the moment, Makali Aizue is injured as well - he’s unable to do any type of running at all - and waiting for scan results, so we’ve gone down to three, possibly four, front rowers.

“Neither of them were forced to be in the team; it was up to them to force their way into the team.

“Their absence will be an opportunity for someone else.”

Harrison also seems likely to kick off the year without Haley after the long-serving threequarter, who has endured a string of injuries, was told he needs shoulder surgery.

“James got the results of a scan and has a cartilage injury in his shoulder that will require an operation,” confirmed Harrison.

“We’ll get him booked in as soon as possible, and until it’s done we won’t know for sure, but that could be another three or four months.”

Club officials also used last night’s event to confirm that sponsors NFU Mutual, Ye Olde Oak and UK General will continue to back the club next year.

Former Bradford, Warrington and Salford forward Rob Parker has signed for his hometown club Leigh.

The 30-year-old prop or second rower spent the last two months of the 2011 season on loan from Salford at Castleford.