Halifax are likely to recall Australian full back Kieren Moss to their 17 for Sunday’s Championship trip to Barrow (3.0), although coach Richard Marshall hinted there could also be a spot for the man who replaced him against Batley, James Woodburn-Hall.
In-form Moss, who is on a season-long loan deal from Super League outfit Hull KR, missed the 50-12 thrashing of the Bulldogs after taking a break pre-booked to coincide with Super League’s blank weekend.
In his absence, young Londoner Woodburn-Hall scored one try and carved out two more for wingers Will Sharp and James Saltonstall in a performance that provided another glimpse of his long term potential.
“James was very good,” said Marshall, whose side go into the weekend in fourth ahead of a crucial month of fixtures that also sees them play top four rivals Featherstone, Toulouse and London.
“It would be difficult to leave a player out after a performance like that, but the challenge for him now is to back that up in practice, put a run of games together and reach that level consistently.
“Kieren is likely to come back in, which gives us some decisions to make in terms of the way we put the team together.
“Overall, I don’t think we want to make too many changes; we’re not resting players now, we want to keep playing.
“We talked about giving Shane Grady a rest last weekend, but in the end the player and my coaches convinced me otherwise on that one.
“I’ve spoken to Castleford about potentially getting James Green and Will Maher, but they both played Super League last weekend so I think that’s unlikely to happen at this stage.”
Nor is Marshall expecting Frenchman Walid Bourgeba, signed from Lezignan on a deal until the end of the season, to figure on the Cumbrian coast.
Bouregba, who can play anywhere in the pack, is the club’s third new loan recruit in as many weeks, joining and Wigan back rower Macauley Davies at the Shay.
The Frenchman, whose move has been funded by supporters’ group LS28, was recommended to coach Richard Marshall by New Zealander Vinnie Anderson, who now works as a coach and player agent in France.
“Walid is a promising young player who wants to develop here and play at the highest level,” said Marshall, said the under 23 international was likely to play in Thursday night’s reserve team fixture against Keighley at the Shay.
“He’s still young, but his work ethic is fantastic and we see him fitting in really well.
“He flew in on Tuesday and trained with us on Tuesday night.
“We’ll see how he goes on Thursday, but I suspect the Barrow game might be too early for him.”
After a bright start to their first season back in the Championship, Barrow are in a miserable run of form and go into the game on the back of successive thrashings at Featherstone and Toronto, having having failed to field a full 17 in either game.
“They’re hard to read, but I think you’d be foolish to take too much from those last two performances,” said Marshall.
“They’ve had some injury problems, and they had some visa issues for the game in Canada, but they are always a different team at home.
“I think they’ve only lost a couple of times up there in the last two seasons and we’re expecting them to have a good 17 out and be really strong.
“They’ve got a massive front row who set the platform for them and they’re unpredictable with the ball.
“If we’re not switched on and ready to play, we’ll have a hard afternoon in front of us.”