Scott Grix returns to Fax line up against Bulls after 15 year absence

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Scott Grix seems certain to make a second debut for his hometown club in Saturday’s Summer Bash Championship derby against Bradford at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road (8.0).

The veteran full back last played for Fax in the 2004 relegation play off against York before going on to forge a successful Super League career with Huddersfield and Wakefield via spells at Leigh and Widnes.

Grix was the first signing made by his younger brother, Simon, who took over as Fax coach following Richard Marshall’s exit three weeks ago.

The Huddersfield full back, who signed an initial month-long loan agreement which is expected to turn into a season-long stay, was ineligible for Friday night’s Challenge Cup tie at Dewsbury, although the Giants - beaten by St Helens in the sixth round - will now allow him to play in the last-eight at the end of the month.

“We wouldn’t have brought Scott in if we weren’t going to play him,” said Grix junior, although he conceded the decision of who to omit to accommodate his older brother was not going to be an easy one.

“All being well, he’ll be involved on Saturday night and have his chance to show what he can do, but going forward it’s going to be form that decides who gets the nod.

“He’ll slot in well; he’s obviously got plenty of experience, he’s a very good communicator and he’s very professional in everything he does.

“If everyone’s fit, we’re going to have some difficult decisions to make, but after the last few weeks, when the side has been picking itself to some degree, that would be a nice problem to have.”

Scott precise role is likely to hinge on the fitness of full back Quentin Laulu-Togagae, who has missed the last two games with a calf strain; if the Samoan is fit to play, the pair could interchange between full back and half back during the game.

Simon said he was not expecting centre Steve Tyrer to figure this weekend after the in-form centre cut his eyelid open in the 34-6 win at Dewsbury, an injury that is likely to require surgery.

“We’ll be checking on Q through the week, but hopefully he’ll be ready,” said Grix.

“At this stage, I’m 99 per cent certain Tyrer won’t play though; he’s going to need some plastic surgery on his eyelid, so we can’t take any chances there.

“We’ve got a few bumps and bruises, but everyone is keen to play.”

Saturday’s fixture is the first of a glut of three-in-five-weeks derby dates after the two clubs were paired together in Sunday night’s Challenge Cup draw.

The two will face off in the last eight at Odsal at the end of this month, meaning the Championship is guaranteed a representative in the last four.

They meet again at Odsal in league action on June 23.

All four quarter finals will be televised, with Fax’s due to be screened by the BBC on Sunday, June 2.

“These are always great games and everyone looks forward to them,” said Grix, who watched from the dug out as the Bulls came back from 14 points down with 20 minutes remaining to beat Fax at Easter in Marshall’s penultimate game in charge.

“Having Bradford back in the Championship this year has been great for both clubs.

“They’ll start as favourites on Saturday after beating Leeds last weekend and getting the better of us on Good Friday.

“They stuck in there that day, but there were things we could have done differently to close the game out.

“We’re probably playing better now than we were then, so we’ll see how we get on.

“The Cup game will be a big occasion for both teams, with the prospect of another even bigger occasion for the winners.”

Coral Challenge Cup quarter finals: Huddersfield Giants or St Helens v Wakefield Trinity, Bradford Bulls v Halifax, Hull Kingston Rovers v Warrington Wolves, Hull FC v Catalans Dragons.