Murrell expected to be fit for Fax’s league opener

Callum Casey will take Dane Manning's back row berth
Callum Casey will take Dane Manning's back row berth

Halifax captain Scott Murrell is expected to be fit for Sunday’s Championship opener against Swinton at the Shay (3.0).

Murrell, the former Hull KR star who has switched from stand off to loose forward this year to accommodate new playmakers Simon Brown and Ben Johnston, has been nursing a wrist injury.

The 28 year old had already been scratched from the teamsheet for last weekend’s warm up game against Leigh, even before that fixture was washed out by further heavy rain.

But coach Karl Harrison expects his influential skipper to be ready to play as the club embarks on what is shaping up as a potentially pivotal season in its history.

“Scott actually trained on Monday, in a full contact session against our under 20s,” said Harrison, who has named a 19-man squad to face Ian Watson’s team.

“He came through that okay and providing there are no last minute issues, I’d expect him to play.

“Johnston’s had a bit of a problem with his shoulder, but he should be okay too.”

With winger Rob Worrincy injured (see page 86) and forwards Luke Ambler and Dane Manning suspended, Harrison’s biggest selection issue has come at centre, where Steve Tyrer, Danny Cowling and Ben Heaton are fighting for two places.

“That’s been the subject of quite a bit of discussion, because they’re all quite different players,” said Harrison.

“Tyrer’s really helped himself by getting into good shape this winter, which probably wasn’t the case last year at times.

“Cowling’s got a good attacking game, he’s capable of running round people and putting his winger away, where Heaton is very direct and very consistent.

“It’s going to be a tough call.”

Elsewhere, Callum Casey looks like taking Manning’s back row berth, with Adam Robinson likely to play front row to cover for Ambler.

Halifax (from): Fieldhouse, Potts, Reittie, Heaton, Tyrer, Cowling, Brown, Johnston, Tonks, Kaye, Davies, Adamson, Casey, Murrell, Divorty, Robinson, Mennell, Bracek, Brooks