Monday night RL: Castleford prop in Halifax squad to face Widnes
Castleford prop Suaia Matagi will play for Halifax on dual-registration in their televised Monday night fixture at Widnes.
The former New Zealand and Samoa international was named in Halifax’s 21-man squad to face Widnes alongside his Castleford team-mate Mahe Fonua, although the latter had been recalled by the Super League club.
Halifax coach Simon Grix told ViaPlay Sports: “We lost Mahe. He trained with us and prepped well but we’ve had dual-reg before so we understand that this can happen. Cas got an injury and its their prerorgative if they need him so we are ready anyway without him.
“Dual-reg is a bit of a contentious issue for most rugby league fans. As the junior partner it can be great, sometimes its not.
“For us at the moment, we don’t have a big squad and I’m not sure we’ll be able to add who we’d like as our own players, so when they’re available it gives us a chance, even though it is really early in the season, to keep a few bodies fresh. Playes like Suaia and Mahe are quality players aren’t they? So I don’t think it is too bad when that sort of quality comes to your club.”
🐾 @HalifaxPanthers coach Simon Grix dropped by our studio for a pre-game chat about his team's start and goals for the season
"We're happy to get off to a good start, but there's still a heck of a lot of improvement to come." 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/VSBsdlTGBm
— Viaplay Sports UK (@ViaplaySportsUK) February 27, 2023
Castleford and Halifax announced their dual-registration partnership ahead of the 2023 campaign.
Matagi, 34, played in Castleford’s 32-30 defeat to Hull in the opening round of Super League last weekend. He didn’t feature in their 24-6 loss to St Helens on Sunday, and will play for Halifax on dual-registration on Monday night.
Castleford forward Daniel Smith featured for Halifax on dual-reg in their opening game against London Broncos.
The Tigers also have a partnership with League 1 side Midlands Hurricanes.
Widnes v Halifax: Squad news
Halifax’s Championship clash with Widnes takes place at the DCBL Stadium on Monday night, 7:45pm kick-off, live on ViaPlay Sports 1.
Widnes: Owens; Millar, Fleming, Edge, Dixon; Craven, Lyons; Lawton, Fozard, Amor, Grady, Wilde, Bent. Subs: Davies, Walker, Field, Hatton.
Halifax: Woodburn-Hall; Saltonstall, Tibbs, Maizen, Walmsley; Jouffret, Keyes; Calcott, Moore, Maher, Kavanagh, Gee, Tangata. Subs: Wood, Fairbank, Matagi, Doro.
Elsewhere in the Championship
Salford pair Amir Bourouh and James Greenwood joined Barrow on one-week loan deals ahead of their trip to York on Sunday.
Hull’s Matty Laidlaw and Nick Staveley have joined Championship outfit Newcastle Thunder on dual-registration.
The Super League pair join fellow Black & White team-mate Denive Balmforth, who is already with Thunder on loan.
Meanwhile, Leeds’ Liam Tindall and James McDonnell joined Bradford on dual-registration ahead of their fixture with Toulouse on Saturday.
On Monday, Super League club Wakefield announced they had entered a dual-registration partnership with League 1 club Dewsbury.
Dewsbury coach Liam Finn said “We’ve been speaking to a couple of clubs about the possibility of dual-registration and because we’re in League 1, we can dual-reg with a Super League and Championship side simultaneously.
“We’re really happy to link up with Wakefield Trinity and create a link that keeps as many young players playing the game as possible. A major issue in the game at present for lads from 19 onwards.”
Wigan have agreed a dual-registration partnership with League 1 club Oldham.
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