Championship preview: Halifax v Swinton (Sun 3.00pm)

Halifax coach Karl Harrison has stressed the need for his side to start the new season with a win, despite winger Rob Worrincy being ruled out with a quad injury.

Harrison said: “It’s an important season and we can’t afford to mess about. We need to hit the ground running.”

Swinton Lions are likely to be without Richie Hawkyard (concussion), Freddie Walker (shoulder) and Ben Warrilow (shoulder) for the trip to The Shay.

Lions coach Ian Watson said: “We’ve got a nice start to the season, facing Halifax and then Sheffield, but these games will be a bit of a benchmark for us. We want to be playing against those types of teams, and for us it’s probably a good thing.

“We’re going straight in against one of the top teams and we’ve got to be ready from the first minute.”

Last week Watson watched the Lions narrowly lose their only pre-season friendly, falling 24-18 against Oldham.

But Watson insists: “That game was invaluable to us in terms of having a hit out and getting some things in place. We’ll be much better for it.”

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