There has been some seriously impressive recruitment at The Shay this season.
With only Ben Heaton and Adam Tangata heading out the door, Richard Marshall signed up Kevin Larroyer, Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e and some other big coups to improve his Halifax side, who are expected to achieve this year.
Finishing in the top five is the minimum requirement this year. Issues at both Featherstone and Leigh off the field have made Halifax, once again, the stand-out part-time club in the Championship.
The ability to compete at the top level of the competition was clear and obvious last season and having improved the squad they will look to go one further.
QLT’s arrival has set the hearts of Fax fans racing. His first spell in the Blue and White was nothing more than a short stay, but he did pick up four tries in four appearances.
Only Toronto had a better defensive record that Fax during the regular season last year and if they can complement their stern defence with more flair in attack anything is possible for the team from West Yorkshire.
Adam Tangata’s departure to Widnes was swiftly dealt with as Ben Kavanagh signed on from Hull KR. Kavanagh is another Halifax-born addition to this squad.
The retention of Chester Butler and Brandon Moore was surprising as both had Super League clubs looking at them, but it is a welcome boost.
Add in Larroyer, and Shaun Robinson, from Featherstone, Marshall has put together his strongest squad yet.
The reserves side at Halifax also keeps churning out players. They also have no fewer than 13 players born in Halifax within their squad.
The one fear is that the pressure has got to Halifax before. They finished sixth in 2016 after many thought they would push for promotion. However, Fax have the right to look up rather than down and this season they could gain that well deserved promotion.
Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e, Shaun Robinson, Steve Tyrer, Chester Butler, Will Sharp, Scott Murrell, Ben Johnston, Dan Fleming, Ben Kaye, Jacob Fairbank, Shane Grady, Ed Barber, Simon Grix, Brandon Moore, Harry Kidd, Kevin Larroyer, Ben Kavanagh, Elliot Morris, Ben White, James Saltonstall, Conor McGrath, Connor Davies, James Woodburn-Hall, Curtis Davies, Liam Cooper, Sion Jones, Reece Chapman-Smith, Will Calcott, Frazer Morris, Adam Brook, Jordan Syme.
Kevin Larroyer (Leigh Centurions), Ben Kavanagh (Hull KR), Shaun Robinson (Featherstone Rovers), Ben White (Berkeley Eagles), Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e (Castleford Tigers), Reece Chapman-Smith (Leeds Rhinos), Liam Cooper (St Helens – loan).
Ben Heaton (Hunslet), Adam Tangata (Widnes Vikings).
PREDICTED LEAGUE FINISH – 4th