Hooker Shaun Lunt’s ripping in at Batley Bulldogs after putting nightmare 18 months to bed

Batley Bulldogs hooker, Shaun Lunt.
Batley Bulldogs hooker, Shaun Lunt.

AFTER A nightmare 18 months, former Leeds Rhinos Grand Final winner Shaun Lunt is ripping into a new challenge with Batley Bulldogs.

Lunt, 32, played six times for Rhinos last year on loan from Hull KR, but was not kept on at the end of the campaign.

Then Hull KR captain Shaun Lunt applauds the fans after the Robins regained their place in Super League in 2017. PIC: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Then Hull KR captain Shaun Lunt applauds the fans after the Robins regained their place in Super League in 2017. PIC: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

The hooker was previously a member of Rhinos’ 2012 Super League-winning side, also on loan. He returned to Huddersfield Giants and then spent four seasons at Hull KR, but his time there was ravaged by injury. The move to part-time status in the Betfred Championship with Batley is the first step towards life outside rugby. Lunt played in the Championship with Hull KR in 2017, but hasn’t experienced the lower divisions as a part-time player since spells with Castleford and then Workington Town at the start of his 15-year career.

“I am enjoying it,” he said of his new club. “I’ve had a tough 18 months, really, really tough. Physically it has been tough, but your body can adapt to that.

“I am working and playing and I am doing a Masters degree at uni’ as well. Combining those three things is quite tough at times, but mentally I feel great. It’s something I have needed for a while; I am like a different husband and different dad at the moment so long may it continue.”

Batley drew with Dewsbury Rams on Boxing Day and lost 16-12 at Hunslet two days ago, when Lunt made his first appearance.

Batley's Shaun Lunt was a Super League Grand Final winner with Leeds Rhinos in 2012. PIC: Steve Riding

Batley's Shaun Lunt was a Super League Grand Final winner with Leeds Rhinos in 2012. PIC: Steve Riding

“A lot of people can get carried away with friendlies, but they don’t paint a true picture of where you are,” Lunt insisted. It’s better getting beaten sometimes because, if you put 50-60 points on someone, you’re not learning a lot. You don’t learn through victory, you learn through defeat. It has given us something to talk about when we get into training [tonight] and put the wrongs right.”

He added: “Everyone always says ‘pre-season has gone well, it’s the best pre-season we’ve ever had’, but until you go and play your first game and get a slap around the head, everything’s up in the air. For me pre-season is just about getting fit. You don’t look into results because you don’t get any points or through to another round. As long as we are right to go against Featherstone at home on February 2, that’s all I am bothered about.”