Former Halifax and Leigh fan favourite to make return after four-year ban

Halifax have confirmed that former fan favourite Sam Barlow is training with them as he looks to make a return to rugby league.

Barlow was once regarded as one of the best forwards outside of Super League, but received a four-year ban from any sporting activity in 2016 for assaulting an anti-doping official.

His ban is now close to completion, meaning he is free to make a return to playing for the 2020 season.

Before his ban, the 31-year-old made over 160 appearances for ‘Fax, Sheffield, Featherstone and Leigh.

Barlow is a former Scotland international.

“After this mornings brief announcement, I would publicly and personally like to thank Halifax RLFC and Simon Grix for allowing me the opportunity to train with the team, until my official ban is up in a months time,” he told the ‘Fax club website. “Until then I won’t be making any further comments regarding my future.”

Halifax head coach Simon Grix added: “Four years is a big punishment and a long time out of the sport, covering what probably should have been the best years of his career.

A fit Sam would certainly be an asset to us, but there’s a long way to go and a lot of bridges to cross before then.

He can’t sign a professional contract until next month under the terms of his suspension, so we’ll see how things go over the next few weeks and go from there.”