Batley Bulldogs will begin the 2017 Kingstone Press Championship season with a trip to France as they take on newly promoted Toulouse Olympique.
The fixture has been scheduled for Saturday February 4 and is likely to mean Batley kick off their campaign 24 hours before their Championship rivals.
The game is due to take place at Stade Ernest Argeles, Blagnac, and will be the venue for new Bulldogs coach Matt Diskin to lead the side for the first time in competitive action.
Batley face a tough opening month as they entertain Halifax in their first home game on Sunday February 12 and host Featherstone Rovers on February 19 before a trip to Sheffield Eagles, who are yet to confirm their home venue for 2017.
Batley will again face old foes Dewsbury Rams three times next season, with a trip to Tetley’s Stadium awaiting on Good Friday, April 14.
The return at Fox’s Biscuits Stadium is on Sunday July 9, while the sides also clash in the Summer Bash in Blackpool on Sunday May 28.
Other fixtures of note for the Bulldogs see them travel to relegated Super League side Hull KR on Sunday April 2, with a big crowd expected for the return at Mount Pleasant on May 2.
Last season’s thrilling encounter against Bradford, in which Pat Walker’s last gasp goal earned Batley a dramatic 24-24 draw, attracted a season best crowd of 2,742 to Mount Pleasant and the Bulls return for what could be a crucial game in the penultimate round of the regular season on Sunday July 16, after which the season splits.
The 12 Betfred Super League clubs and 12 Kingstone Press Championship clubs split into the Super Eights after 23 rounds and Batley will be determined to repeat last season’s terrific feat of qualifying for the middle eights stage of the competition.
Four Batley players represented Jamaica in last Friday’s 16-16 draw against Wales at Wakefield’s Belle Vue.
New signings Danny Bravo and Joel Farrell were joined by Alex Brown and Wayne Reittie, who captained the Reggae Warriors and set up the late equalising score for Aaron Jones-Bishop against a Welsh side coached by departing Bulldogs boss John Kear.
Batley Bulldogs 2017 Fixtures
Sat 4 Toulouse Olympique (away) 3pm
Sun 12 Halifax RLFC (home) 3pm
Sun 19 Featherstone Rovers (home) 3pm
Sun 26 Sheffield Eagles (away) 3pm
Sun 5 Swinton Lions (home) 3pm
Sun 12 Bradford Bulls (away) 3pm
Sun 26 Oldham RLFC (home) 3pm
Sun 2 Hull Kingston Rovers (away) 3pm
Sun 9 Rochdale Hornets (home) 3pm
Friday 14 Dewsbury Rams (away) 3pm
Monday 17 London Broncos (home) 3pm
Sun 30 Halifax RLFC (away) 3pm
Sun 7 Hull Kingston Rovers (home) 3pm
Sun 21 Oldham RLFC (away) 3pm
Sunday 28 Dewsbury Rams — Blackpool Summer Bash ko TBC
Sun 4 Toulouse Olympique (home) 3pm
Sun 11 Swinton Lions (away) 3pm
Sun 18 Sheffield Eagles (home) 3pm
Sun 25 Rochdale Hornets (away) 3pm
Sun 2 Featherstone Rovers (away) 3pm
Sun 9 Dewsbury Rams (home) 3pm
Sun 16 Bradford Bulls (home) 3pm
Sun 23 London Broncos (away) 3pm
Fixtures, courtesy of the RFL.
Dates and kick off times are subject to change.