Rowley doesn’t expect another Fax flashpoint

Sam Barlow of Leigh Centurions. Photo: Brian King

Sam Barlow of Leigh Centurions. Photo: Brian King

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Leigh coach Paul Rowley has praised the work being done at his old club by his former team-mate Richard Marshall.

Marshall took over from Karl Harrison at Halifax after several years on the Warrington coaching staff.

Rowley and Marshall played together many times during their playing careers and were part of the Leigh squad which won promotion to Super League in 2004.

Centurions have already beaten Halifax this season at The Shay but it was a tight encounter in poor conditions. A Jonny Pownall try in the dying moments sealed victory for Leigh.

Since then, Marshall’s side have been in or around the top four of the Championship.

“I think Halifax have a different mentality this year and the game at The Shay showed that,” said Rowley. “They are an optimistic and progressive club who like to play good rugby.”

Last season’s game between the sides at the Sports Village was overshadowed by an injury to Sam Barlow and the subsequent banning of Halifax forward Dane Manning for 10 games.

Barlow had to spend a night in hospital and there were ugly scenes in the tunnel after the game.

Despite that, Rowley doesn’t expect any such flashpoints on Sunday and won’t leave Barlow out against his hometown club.

“The only reasons I wouldn’t play Sam Barlow would be if he was injured or his form didn’t justify selection,” he said.

“I don’t think there are any issues with individuals I need to be wary of.”