Johnston, Kaye head list of Halifax departures as Grix prepares for rebuild

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Halifax have confirmed a clutch of high profile departures ahead of Sunday’s final Championship game against York at the Shay (3.0).

Half back Ben Johnston - who will join the Knights next year - hooker Ben Kaye and winger Will Sharp, another player linked with the North Yorkshire outfit, are all expected to play after being named on a list of confirmed exits this week.

Back rower Shane Grady, currently recovering from a knee reconstruction, is also leaving the club, alongside Cook Islander Adam Tangata, who is expected to remain with Wakefield, where he is currently on loan.

As expected, there will be no places in 2020 for forwards Harry Kidd, Fraser Morris and Jordan Syme and half back Adam Brook.

Johnston, Kaye, Sharp, Grady and Tangata were all mainstays of the Fax teams that qualified for the now defunct Super 8s three times in four years under former boss Richard Marshall.

“All those blokes have contributed a lot to the club over the last few years and I want us to send them out on a high note if we can,” said coach Simon Grix, who said that while Johnston had been offered the chance to stay, the rest had not.

“We made Ben an offer to stay, a good offer, but he’s from York and he wants to play for them, and as much as the change will probably do him good, it will probably do us good too.

“Ben Kaye has given us a lot, both on the field and behind the scenes; he’s got an energy about him that motivates people around him and that’s a role that another player or players are going to have to pick up next year.

“With Will, we’ve got young Conor McGrath coming through and he doesn’t really need any more players in front of him, to be honest.

“Shane’s spent the last six or seven years travelling from Widnes, to play for Dewsbury and then us, but he’s got a young family now which maybe means that’s not as sustainable as it was.

“Look, they’ve all been great, and they’ll leave us with great memories, but everything comes to an end, in sport and in life.”