Halifax reaping benefits of running reserve team

Halifax coach Richard Marshall says running a reserve team is helping their progress with competition for places fierce.

Marshall brought back Ben Johnston from a few weeks on the sidelines and he was instrumental in the 38-18 win over Leigh on Sunday.

But it was perhaps the calls to leave regulars Elliot Morris, Dan Fleming and Brandon Douglas out of the 17 that raised eyebrows.

Gadwin Springer came in via the dual-registration agreement with Castleford, Dan Murray featured on loan from Salford and Sion Jones impressed off the bench.

He said: “We made a few changes.

“There were some big calls. We used Gadwin, and I thought he had a couple of decent stints.

“Elliot Morris is still learning, Dan is fresh to the club, and there’s probably six or seven other players who could have played.

“It didn’t do Ben any harm missing a few weeks.

“I hope those guys will come back and they’ll do a good job, that’s how it has to be.

“Running a reserve grade gives you that, it’s in our own hands and I’m sure these guys will come back in and do a good job for us.”

Marshall reserved praise for Welshman Jones, who hails from Barry and first attracted attention from professional clubs as a 16-year-old when he joined Widnes.

The coach added: “He’s got lots of development in him. Without a reserve grade, he wouldn’t be here, and I’m not sure where he’d be.

“So we’re fortunate enough that our club’s got a fantastic vision.

“The players bring each other on and there’s now pressure on them to perform to keep their place.”

Marshall is expected to utilise his squad depth for this weekend’s Challenge Cup tie at home to League One side Oldham.

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