Halifax centre Steve Tyrer says incoming back rower Shane Grady is a made-to-measure replacement for Batley-bound Dane Manning.
Manning quit the Shay after refusing to accept the 10 per cent pay cut imposed as part of the club’s close-season belt tightening, returning to the club he played for before joining Fax five years ago.
Grady, the former Dewsbury and Widnes player, had been pencilled in to complement Manning, but will now face the task of replacing one of the Championship’s most consistent performers.
Tyrer knows both men well, forming a potent combination with Manning that was only interrupted when he broke his arm against Featherstone in July and lining up with and against 26 year old Grady during his spells with the Vikings and the Rams.
“Dane’s been absolutely fantastic for this club, that’s the first thing to say,” said Tyrer, who also lives on the same Widnes street as his new teammate.
“In five years playing alongside him I honestly don’t think I can remember him having a bad game, which says a lot.
“He’s chosen to move on, which is his decision, but I think Shane is probably as close as you’re going to get to a like for like replacement.
“He’s a real handful; big, aggressive with a good work rate and he leaves everything out on the field.
“I don’t think he’s one of those signings that gets supporters excited necessarily, but by the end of the season I think everyone will be very happy with him.”
Tyrer, who is now back in full training with one eye on the Boxing Day friendly against Featherstone (12.00), was one of a select group of senior players that met with coach Richard Marshall to broach the club’s wage reduction, a deal now understood to have been signed off by all bar one of the first team squad.
“Richard called five or six of us over the week after the season finished and I don’t think anyone had any idea this was coming; he kind of dropped the bomb on us,” said Tyrer.
“There was a bit of an awkward silence, and everyone’s situation is different, but for me it was always quite an easy decision.
“The club has always been really good to me away from the field and while they could probably have done better last year, so could we as a group of players.
“I felt obliged to accept it really; we’ve taken some ownership of the situation and the fact we know we get that 10 per cent back if we make the top four is a hell of a motivation to go out and do what we all know we’re capable of.”