Halifax have re-signed their former forward Sam Barlow on a trial deal as his four year ban imposed by the UK Anti-Doping Agency draws to a close.
Barlow was contracted to Leigh Centurions when he was barred from all sport in September 2016 - with his suspension backdated to November 2015 - after clashing with an official attempting to conduct an out-of-competition test at his Halifax home.
But the giant front rower, who played a key role in Fax’s dramatic 2010 Grand Final win over Featherstone before leaving for Rovers in 2013, will be eligible to resume his career next month.
And the 31 year old, the older brother of the former Swinton forward Josh, will start training with his hometown club next week.
“Sam held his hand out to us and we’ve reached out and lifted him up,” said Fax coach Simon Grix.
“Four years is a big punishment and a long time out of the sport, covering what probably should have been the best years of his career.
“But he’s looking for a way back and as a club I think and hope we’ve done the right thing by him as a player and a person.
“We all know what impact Sam was capable of making when he was at his best and he’s always been a larger than life character, which is no bad thing.
“He’s making all the right noises and physically he looks okay; he’s a few kilos over his playing weight, but not so much that it’s going to be difficult to lose over the course of a pre-season.
“A fit Sam would certainly be an asset to us, but there’s a long way to go and a lot of bridges to cross before then.
“He can’t sign a professional contract until next month under the terms of his suspension, so we’ll see how things go over the next few weeks and go from there.”