Leigh v Halifax: Fax bring in loan prop

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MATT Calland will look to give a run out to loan prop Gil Dudson in tonight’s Co-operative Championship clash with table-topping Leigh after snaring him from Celtic Crusaders on a dual-registration deal.

The 20-year-old featured in the first seven Super League games for the Crusaders this season but has since struggled to command a regular berth, prompting Fax’s head coach to move in.

Dudson is one of the few players to make his international debut before his club debut when he played for Wales against England in October 2008.

He made his Crusaders first team debut against Leeds Rhinos in August the following year.

“Gil is a big unit with Super League experience and I am confident he will go very well while he is with us,” said Calland. “It is a dual-reg deal which is good for us and for the player as hopefully we will be able to give him the game time he needs.”

Calland needs no reminding that tonight’s televised clash will give his side’s newly-found confidence a severe testing. However, after good performances in a narrow defeat by Featherstone and morale-boosting victory over Sheffield, Calland will demand his players go into the contest with no fear.

“There has been a big improvement over the last two games and the job now is to build on that,” said Calland.

“But we’re not stupid and we know it is going to be a really tough test against a side that is unbeaten so far this season.

“But unbeaten records don’t last forever and we have to make sure it is us that bring it to an end tonight.

“There is no greater incentive for players to play the top side in the league and we are no different in that respect. We will be confident and there is no reason why we cannot produce a result if we play to our strengths.”

Apart from the major test at the Leigh Sports Village, Fax have two massive games coming up which Calland believes will be vital to how thewir campaign pans out in the long run.

“The next month is really important for us,” he said. “After tonight we have Hunslet and then Featherstone coming up which are another two massive games we will be looking to get something from.”

Sam Barlow and Ben Black return to Calland’s squad for tonight’s game although there is a doubt surrounding Sean Penkywicz who is suffering from a foot injury and will have a late fitness test.