Halifax lose Manning for eight weeks

Halifax’s top-four hopes have received a significant blow, with second-row Dane Manning ruled out for eight weeks with a broken thumb.

Manning, widely regarded as one of the best back-rows outside Super League, suffered the injury in Halifax’s victory over Dewsbury last week.

The 27-year-old will now miss Halifax’s run-in as they chase a spot in the Qualifiers, starting with their crucial derby against rivals Bradford on Sunday, who sit one point and one place above Fax in the Championship.

“He’s been a bit of a talisman for us has Dane, he has been fantastic,” said head coach Richard Marshall.

“We’re going to miss him over the next eight weeks. He’s having an operation today to get it pinned, so that’s not great. But it gives someone else an opportunity, and getting Simon Grix back offsets that a bit as well.”

Former Warrington man Grix returned to action two weeks ago following a near two-year spell on the sidelines after suffering a horrendous leg injury.

However, Marshall has been impressed with his two performances so far, and will now call on him to produce the goods in Manning’s absence.

“He did more minutes than I would have liked (against Dewsbury), but he came through really well and he got better as the game went on.

“He didn’t look tired, his fitness is really good, and even if your fitness isn’t up to speed, sometimes your experience puts you in the right place. He’s got a good nous of the game and he did have an impact last week.”

Miles Greenwood (hamstring) and Jacob Fairbank (concussion) are also doubts for their trip to The Provident Stadium, but Australian forward Mitch Cahalane should be fit after suffering a gash to the head last week.