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Exclusive: James Woodburn-Hall believes finishing lower than third would be “unacceptable” for Halifax Panthers in 2022

Halifax Panthers’ James Woodburn-Hall has deemed finishing lower than third place this season as “unacceptable.”

The 27-year-old believes his side can make a genuine push for promotion despite the quality and backing of favourites Featherstone and Leigh and the threat posed by dark horses like Batley.

He said, “Featherstone and Leigh have the most money and they are both very good sides.

“However, I would not count us out, nor would I rule out Batley or Widnes as they both look like they could go well this season.

“From our point of view, we are mainly worrying about ourselves. We finished third last year and I think to finish lower than that would be poor from us.

“Hopefully we will finish at least third and then the play-offs after that are a different ball game altogether as anything can happen.”

Woodburn-Hall is currently side lined through injury but hopes to make a return to action next month.

Though frustrated at not being able to take to the field, he has been left impressed by his team mates and insists the competition for places will serve as a motivator for his comeback.

He added, “Both Cory Aston and Joe Keyes are going really well. I know them both quite well, I came through the London academy with Joe and I have known Cory for a while, playing against each other several times.

“They seem to be striking a good combination, they both want the ball a lot.

“They both looked good together in pre-season as well so if they can keep building on that, it is exciting.

“It is exciting for me too as when I get back fit and hopefully get in at full-back, they can create opportunities and make my life a lot easier as well.”

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