The First Team may be on the road this weekend but there is still plenty of rugby league action in Merthyr this weekend. South Wales Ironmen Reserves welcome Halifax RL to The Wern Sports Park this Saturday (11th March 2017) with a later than usual 3:45pm kick off.

There is a dual registration agreement in place between Halifax RL and South Wales Ironmen which means the Halifax side is expected to contain a number of players who will be familiar to the welsh supporters having turned out for the Scorpions during last season’s campaign. The Yorkshire team are also expected to include last season’s Scorpions regular Sion Jones with the possibility that two former players, twins Curtis and Connor Davies may also feature. One Halifax player who won’t be playing is Jamie Stringer who made a number of first team appearances for the Scorpions last season and is in Phil Carleton’s First Team squad heading to York City Knights.

Reserves Head Coach Paul Emanuelli has a busy weekend ahead of him but is looking forward to the challenge:-

“It’s great to finally have our first competitive game of the season, it seems an age ago that we were out in Toronto playing the Canadian national side.”

“This year’s squad almost feels like a completely new setup with the success of last year and how many lads have been promoted to senior contracts. We’ve had a good preseason and it was good to see the lads actually play in our warm up hit out against the Welsh students last week. “

“We’ve got plenty of talent once again coming through and Saturday will see where we are at against what I have no doubt will be a quality Halifax outfit. We are missing our skipper Huw Parks but it’s good to have the likes of Ben Jones, Lewis Hughes and Morgan Jefferies in the side to help guide our new recruits.”

After finishing his coaching duties on Saturday Emanuelli will be on the bus to York for Sunday’s game against York City Knights where he will combine coaching and playing duties with Courtney Davies absent through injury.

“Travelling up North is never easy but we acquitted ourselves pretty well in the second half last season against York. The challenge for us now is to turn 60 or 70 minute performances into 80 minute performances. We’ve been competing pretty well this season but have tended to have spells of ten minutes or so where we switch off and its cost us. Nobody outside the camp will be expecting a win so all the pressure will be on York. As always we’ll give it our best shot and see how far that takes us.”

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