Championship round-up: March to retire, Nixon injured

KEIGHLEY COUGARS coach Paul March has confirmed that the 2014 season will be his last as a player.
March looks set for a lesser role on the field in the 2014 campaign.
He told the Keighley News: “Obviously with Danny Jones and Paul Handforth being here, they will be the halfback combination and I will cover for them.
“Fingers crossed they don’t get injured, but I’ve played in Super League at hooker as well so I could always come off the bench in that position too.
“This is my last year playing and I will just utilise myself where I’m needed.”

WORKINGTON TOWN look set to be without pack duo Kris Coward and Karl Olstrum for their Ike Southward Memorial Trophy clash with rivals Whitehaven.
Coward has a groin complaint and Olstrum a hamstring strain ahead of the game at the Recreation Ground this Sunday, January 12.
The pair will then be assessed ahead of Town’s second friendly against Super League Champions Wigan at Derwent Park on January 26.
Workington coach Gary Charlton is seeking to arrange a third friendly for early in February.

WHITEHAVEN coach Dave Woods hopes that international duo Larsen Murabe and Jessie Joe Parker will both be with the club by the end of January.
The pair are currently in Papua New Guinea waiting to finalise their visas.
Forward Murabe has completed his form and hopes to be able to travel once the visa office opens again today (Monday).
The pair, plus suspended winger Shaun Ainscough, are Woods’ only absentees for Sunday’s Ike Southward Memorial Trophy game with Workington.

DEWSBURY RAMS have confirmed a three-year deal with kit suppliers ZAR-X Sports.
The company has produced both the Rams’ new home and away shirts for 2014, and Chairman Mark Sawyer has welcomed the link-up.
Sawyer said: “It is an essential part of our business plan to have a kit partnership with a company that we can work with to both develop the Rams’ branding and also help ZAR-X Sports make a positive inroad into the sport of Rugby League.
“ZAR-X were extremely proactive in putting together exciting new kit designs which have been well received by all our sponsors.
“They offer us a one-stop shop for a whole range of quality merchandise and we believe that our supporters will be delighted with the agreement.”

BARROW RAIDERS winger James Nixon has been carrying a back injury over the festive period.
The prolific Nixon, who rejoined the club during the close season, is hoping to not be sidelined for too long.
Raiders coach Anthony Murray said: “James has a back complaint and he’s not been able to do much contact work over the last couple of weeks.
“He’s on the mend and the physios are working with him. We’re hoping that it’s more of a twinge than anything else.”
Murray also confirmed that two potential new signings are now “dead and buried”.

ROCHDALE Hornets coach Ian Talbot has passed the entire squad’s best wishes on to long-serving club timekeeper Ray Myers, who has been taken ill.
Myers, who has had a lifelong association with the club, is currently in hospital.
Talbot invited him to speak to the Hornets’ squad before their historic play-off final win over Oldham last year, such is his standing at the club.
“We would like to pass on all of our best wishes to Ray and his family,” Talbot said.

HALIFAX will hope to give centre Danny Cowling his debut at the second attempt against Batley this weekend.
Former Wakefield threequarter Cowling missed the Boxing Day draw at Castleford due to suspension, and had been set to start against Keighley on Sunday before the game was postponed.
Prop Ben Davies, who sat out the Tigers’ game with a knee injury, has now recovered and was also expected to play.
In addition coach Karl Harrison was poised to run the rule over youngsters Jack Holmes, Josh Casey, Jarrod Ward, Sam Brooks, Joe Martin, Miles Fairbank and Brad Delaney.