Tangata returns as Fax prepare to face Super League outfit Salford

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Halifax will welcome back Cook Islands forward Adam Tangata for Sunday’s Super 8s Qualifiers game against Super League side Salford at the Shay (3.0).

Tangata has been sidelined since suffering knee ligament damage in the Championship fixture against Toulouse more than a month ago.

But coach Richard Marshall confirmed the player was back in full training, making him a virtual certainty to play against Ian Watson’s side.

“Adam’s done a full week so he’ll be back, which is a boost for us,” said Marshall.

“He gives us another threat with the ball and his experience is a big thing for us against these Super League teams.

“He offers something different and he really wants to play in these games and show what he’s capable of.”

Dual-registered Castleford forward Will Maher will also return after missing the trip to Toulouse two weeks ago, along with young back rower Chester Butler.

Marshall’s main selection issue is finding a replacement for injured centre Steve Tyrer, who has been ruled out for four weeks with a knee injury, with on-loan Huddersfield player Sam Wood and Londoner James Woodburn-Hall the likely candidates.

“Will and Chester will probably come back in and we’ll look at Sam and James in training during the week,” said Marshall, whose side now face four top flight teams in success, with Hull KR, Widnes and Leeds following this weekend’s test.

“We’re going to have to utilise the squad fully over the next few weeks against these full time teams, that’s something we learned last year.

“We’ve got more depth than we had 12 months ago and we will give people opportunities to show what they can do.

“I want to reward the players for getting us to this point.”

Marshall conceded that after initially looking one of the more vulnerable teams, Watson’s side now seem anything but, having been reinvigorated by the signing of Australian half back Jackson Hastings.

“They’ve beaten Leeds and Hull KR and given Widnes a hiding, so they’re in form,” said Marshall, whose first priority is to refind his side’s attacking form after one try in 160 minutes of Qualifiers action so far.

“I’ve watched their last four games and they’re a side that works really hard for each other.

“They’ve five or six players who’ve played for us at various points and I know Ian Watson pretty well, so we know plenty about them and they know plenty about us.

“Hastings and Robert Lui are playing very well at half back, Junior Sau is strong and Niall Evalds at full back returns the ball really well; they’re just a really solid side.

“I don’t think there’ll be a lot of expectation on us this weekend, so we can play with some freedom.

“We’ve trained well; We’ve had a couple of good opposed sessions against our reserves and we’ve looked at some combinations and plays that have worked well for us this year.

“We’ve also done some work on our kicking game, because we don’t feel we’ve been turning the ball over in the right areas.

“We’ve only lost a couple at home all season, which is a record we’re proud of, so we’ll turn up ready to play and try to get that spirit going again.”