Oh brother: Karl Ashall joins Craig at Fax

Craig (left) and Karl Ashall
Craig (left) and Karl Ashall

Halifax look likely to start 2013 with two Ashalls vying for the hooking role after signing Swinton number nine Karl, the younger brother of current player Craig, on a one year deal.

Ashall junior, 21, enjoyed a solid debut season in the Championship with strugglers Swinton after leaving Super League giants St Helens at the end of 2011.

He will now team up with 26 year old Craig, who was a revelation in his first season with Fax after being plucked from the relative obscurity of Rochdale 12 months ago.

”Karl’s a different player to Craig; he’s a bit nippier, his pass is a little quicker and he probably sets his runners up a little bit better,” said Fax boss Karl Harrison, who has already signed Hull KR playmaker Scott Murrell as the club prepare for life after long-serving hooker Sean Penkywicz, who will be with Leigh next season.

”He’s someone I’ve had in mind for a while and I know he’s keen to take this opportunity.

”Karl’s not here because he’s Craig’s brother; if anything that might have worked against him because it was something I was a little wary of.

”He’s here because he’s a good player who we feel we can improve and develop.

”It’s a step up for him and he knows that; a different challenge playing for a team that will be pushing for the Championship title.

”He will certainly add to the squad. We now have him, Craig and two more players who are comfortable in the hooking role in Murrell and Paul Handforth.

”We’re not short of options there now.””

Harrison, who said he was “still looking” for more potential recruits, hinted that he hoped his revamped attacking arsenal would give his side a greater attacking threat next season.

“In my opinion, it’s our defence where I think we need to make the biggest improvement because we conceded too many points last season,” said Harrison.

“But do I think our outside backs deserve more ball? Yes I do.

“And I think with the players we have at hooker and half back now I think they will get it.”