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Cahill returns to face Reds

Crusaders have announced their 19-man squad for this Friday's game against Salford City Reds at the Racecourse Ground.
Cahill returns to face Reds
by NRL

Crusaders have announced their 19-man squad for this Friday's game against Salford City Reds at the Racecourse Ground.

Iestyn Harris has made two changes to the squad that lost 12-7 against Leeds Rhinos last week.

Hep Cahill returns to the fold after being rested last week against the Rhinos. He takes the place of utility-man Paul Johnson, who suffered a recurrence of a shoulder injury last week.

Captain Clinton Schifcofske has been ruled out for up to 5 weeks with a shoulder injury, so young Welsh winger Lee Williams is drafted into the squad. Rhys Hanbury and Richard Moore are still missing for Super League's only Welsh club.

Crusaders suffered a heartbreaking, last minute loss against the Rhinos last week.

But Harris says that has made his players even more determined to beat the Reds on Friday.

"Preparations have been going well," Harris said.

"We've had some really good training sessions this week and all the boys look very sharp. We're trying to improve on some of the things we did in the Leeds game and trying to iron out some of the problems we had in that game. But if the players show the same attitude and intensity that they had in that game then we are going to be a very difficult team to beat.

"I thought there were some factors beyond our control which meant we didn't get the result our efforts deserved. Sometimes in team sport you don't get what you deserve. I thought the Leeds game was one of those occasions. Results will come and go but as long as our performances are of a high standard then we expect to win more than we lose."

Head coach Harris was also full of praise for Jordan Tansey, who excelled at fullback in the absence of Schifcofske against the Rhinos.

"We brought Jordan in as a long term replacement for Clinton Schifcofske," Harris added.

"He's had an opportunity because of injury to play in his favoured fullback role a bit sooner than he anticipated. We know he's got that ability but he's a little bit rusty here and there. We know he's going to improve and he's showing signs of getting back to his best. With a pre-season under his belt, he's going to be a formidable force for us.

Harris added: "We're reasonably healthy going into the Salford game. Rhys Hanbury hasn't quite made it and Richard Moore is probably about another week away. Clinton is probably out for another 3-4 weeks so we are a little bit slim at the moment. But I hope the players that we have at out disposal will be good enough to do a job for us.

"Salford are an efficient side. We went very well against them at the Magic Weekend but they gave us a really good game at their place. It was a tough, relentless game that took 38 minutes for someone to score points.

"We are expected the same again. I watched them against Castleford and Warrington the week before and they are coming pretty close in games. They are starting to pick results up here and there and we've got to make sure that we are right mentally.

Harris also paid tribute to his former Warrington team mate Paul Darbyshire, who lost his battle with motor neurone disease at the age of 41 earlier this week.

He said: "It is very, very sad. I played with Paul for quite a while and he was one of the good guys. He was an extremely talented player, a great trainer and a great personality to have around the place. He was someone who I still spoke to from time to time and his loss will be felt by everyone in the sport.

"I was absolutely gutted when I heard the news. I knew Paul was ill but that didn't prepare me for the sad news. I've spoken to some of the guys I used to play with and everyone is really upset by it. My thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time."

Crusaders 19-man squad to face Salford City Reds

(From) - 2. Gareth Thomas, 3. Tony Martin, 4. Vince Mellars, 5. Stuart Reardon, 6. Michael Witt, 7. Jarrod Sammut, 8. Ryan O'Hara, 9. Lincoln Withers, 10. Mark Bryant, 11. Hep Cahill, 12. Jason Chan, 13. Frank Winterstein, 15. Jordan James, 16. Ben Flower, 18. Elliot Kear, 19. Lloyd White, 23. Peter Lupton, 24. Lee Williams, 27. Jordan Tansey

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