Ryan out to cement Fax’s number one spot

EX-BARLA skipper Ryan Fieldhouse is out to take his Halifax full back chance with “both hands” ahead of next weekend’s Northern Rail Cup opener at Dewsbury.

Fax boss Karl Harrison has all-but confirmed that the former Leigh East amateur, who only turned professional last summer, will start as the last line of defence against the Rams after seeing off the initial challenge of rivals Paul White and Ben Heaton.

And Fieldhouse, who scored two tries and made two more in last weekend’s 58-6 pre-season win over Huddersfield, intends to make it count.

“There’s a lot of competition there, but I’ve got a chance and hopefully I can take it with both hands now,” said the 22 year old, the son of Harrison’s former Fax teammate John Fieldhouse.

“The Huddersfield game was awesome; Karl had said to me earlier in the week that he was going to make a few changes and start me at full back and I just wanted to try and cement my place in the side.

“I’m definitely a full back, even though I’ve been playing mainly centre since I came here last year.

“I’ve told Karl, it was never a position I had played as an amateur, let alone coming in and trying to do it at this level.

“I want to play at the back and it was important to go out there against Huddersfield and have a solid game to show people what I can do.

“I just feel more comfortable when I play there, it felt good.”

But Fieldhouse knows Dewsbury, who have rebuilt their side completely this winter, with coach Warren Jowitt bringing in 15 new players, will present a considerably sterner test than a Giants side composed largely of under 18s.

“The friendlies are out of the way now and the really hard work starts next weekend,” he said.

“It’s a matter of gelling as a team and working together.

“Karl puts a massive emphasis on defence and I’ll do my best to talk it up from the back.

“It’s going to be a big part of our game this year and I think once that comes right the rest of it will come.

“Dewsbury’s going to be a tight pitch, against a big side, and it’s going to be a difficult afternoon.

“But we definitely want the win.

“We’re not even thinking about losing; no chance.”

HALIFAX under 23s begin their preparations for 2012 with a pre-season clash against newly-formed North Wales Crusaders on Sunday (1.0) in a game switched from the frozen Racecourse ground at Wrexham to Widnes, where there is an artificial pitch.

Coaches Martin Gonzalez and Jim Gannon will field a new-look line up, although Ben Manning, Ian Davies and Brent Taylor, who featured in last weekend’s first team win over Huddersfield, all play.

Utility player Miles Fairbank, son of former Fax reserve team coach Karl, is also expected to make his debut after leaving Huddersfield.

Gonzalez has confirmed his side’s second friendly, at Featherstone, will now take place on Friday, February 17.