Halifax Panthers close in on double transfer boost as trio sign new contracts

Halifax Panthers are closing in on two new signings ahead of the 2025 season. The Championship side has been working hard on their plans for the upcoming season, with a number of deals now either secured or close to being finalised.

The likes of Jack Hansen, Ronan Dixon and Owen Restall have all been linked with moves to Fax next year, with head coach Liam Finn set to oversee a considerable recruitment drive heading into the new campaign. And two new names have now emerged on the club's radar who are currently playing for Championship rivals.

The first is Whitehaven back-rower Owen McCarron, who has been heavily sought-after after impressing for the Cumbrian club this season. However, Fax are said to be leading the case for his services heading into 2025.

The Australian, who had previously played in the Queensland Cup for Ipswich Jets, has been an ever-present for Jonty Gorley's side this season, with his performances not going unnoticed in West Yorkshire. Coming in at 6ft 2 inches, McCarron would add size to the Fax pack and help to replace Matty Gee, who is expected to join Bradford Bulls next year.

And another player on Fax's radar is Joe Hird, a versatile forward who came through the ranks at Leeds Rhinos. A former academy captain at Headingley, Hird is contracted to fellow Championship side Sheffield Eagles, though he has spent the year on loan at Dewsbury Rams, where he has made 13 appearances this season. Fax have identified the 21-year-old as a player who can be part of the club's long-term plans moving forward.

Fax, who have regularly punched above their weight despite modest salary cap spend compared to their rivals, have already lost halfback Joe Keyes to Bradford, with the Bulls currently investing heavily in their squad. Ryan Lannon will also depart, heading to Widnes Vikings.

But they have managed to retain members of their existing squad, with Zack McComb, Jacob Fairbank and Ben Kavanagh all signing new deals with the club recently. The club is hopeful that further senior members of the squad will follow suit in committing their futures moving forward.

It's been a difficult year for Halifax, with the Panthers currently eleventh in the Championship. However, they are just four points of the play-offs with twelve rounds of the season remaining.