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THE QUALIFIERS MATCH PREVIEW | Halifax vs Toronto Wolfpack

Toronto begin their quest for promotion at part-time Halifax. Here’s everything you need to know…

SQUAD NEWS

Halifax

Head coach Richard Marshall could give debuts to two players against Toronto as Jordan Baldwinson and Sam Wood, on loan from Wakefield Trinity and Huddersfield Giants respectively, come into the squad.

Shane Grady and James Saltonstall missed the 38-6 win over Rochdale Hornets that sealed their top four place, but both return after recovering from minor problems.

Dan Fleming is unable to face his former club due to contractual obligations, while fellow forwards Adam Tangata and Simon Grix remain out of action.

Halifax 19-man squad: Sharp, Heaton, Tyrer, Barber, Saltonstall, Murrell, Johnston, Morris, Kaye, Grady, Fairbank, Moore, Woodburn-Hall, Maher, Butler, Moss, Jones, Baldwinson, Wood.

Toronto Wolfpack

Head coach Paul Rowley rested a number of his regulars for the final match of the regular season, which saw them slip to their first ever defeat in Canada at the hands of Featherstone.

Blake Wallace, Cory Paterson, Matty Russell, Gareth O’Brien, Darcy Lussick and Chase Stanley are all in line to return to a strong squad for the Championship winners.

Quinn Ngawati became the first Canadian player to feature for the club a fortnight ago but he is one of four players to drop out, while there is no place for new signing Mason Caton-Brown.

Toronto 19-man squad: Wheeler, Kay, McCrone, Brierley, Buchanan, Beswick, Sims, Dixon, Bussey, Ackers, Sidlow, Wallace, Paterson, Hopkins, Emmitt, Russell, O’Brien, Lussick, Stanley.

HEAD TO HEAD

The two sides met for the first time this year and Toronto have come out on top in both clashes in the regular rounds of the Championship.

They were given a tough game in their previous trip to the Shay in February, eventually winning 20-6, and they followed that up by winning their ‘home’ fixture 42-10 at the New River Stadium in London.

KEY BATTLE – Ben Johnston vs Ryan Brierley

The battle of the half-backs is always key and if Halifax are to get anything from this one, they will need Ben Johnston to produce the kind of magic we’ve seen from him at times this season.

His opposite number seven Ryan Brierley has been one of the best players in the Championship this season, and the former Leigh and Huddersfield player will be hugely important to their chances of promotion.

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Sunday 12th August
Venue: MBi Shay Stadium
Kick-off: 3:00pm
Referee: Chris Kendall

I am a 19-year-old Sports Journalism student at the University of Huddersfield. I cover a lot of rugby league, following Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants and working for Halifax RLFC. If you want to see more of my ramblings on rugby and football then follow me on Twitter @stibbo99.

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