Scrum half Dominic Brambani has been appointed the new captain of Batley Bulldogs.
Brambani was ever present in Batley’s starting line-up last season, featuring in all 33 games having joined from Sheffield Eagles.
He is regarded as one of the best half-backs in the Championship and scored nine tries, while assisting in a further 28 that the Bulldogs scored.
Coach Matt Diskin kept the announcement low key, although he has also put in place a small leadership group to assist Brambani.
Diskin said: “Dom is a fantastic professional and one of the best half-backs in the Championship but you also have the likes of Patch Walker and James Brown who are also fantastic leaders.”
Brambani is set to lead the Bulldogs when Batley play their second pre-season friendly as Keighley Cougars visit Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Sunday (kick off 2pm).
Having not played since the Boxing Day victory over Dewsbury Rams, Batley now face two games in six days, with Castleford Tigers visiting for the Bulldogs’ final warm-up game next Friday.
Former Batley favourite Craig Lingard will return to Mount Pleasant as head coach of Keighley and he has already made an impact with the Cougars, recording comfortable pre-season wins over Hunslet Warriors and Championship One rivals Whitehaven in the last fortnight.
Lingard is Batley’s all-time record try scorer, having crossed 142 times in 206 games, and he was assistant coach to John Kear last year before taking the top job at Keighley.
Diskin admits it will be a useful work-out for his side saying: “Craig is excited about Keighley’s prospects this season and has made some good signings.
“They have had an 80-odd points win and put 40 past a strong Whitehaven side last week and Craig wants his side to play how the game should be, just like us.”
Diskin admits the majority of Batley’s squad will feature either on Sunday or next Friday, with Joel Farrell and Adam Gledhill, along with Batley’s three Castleford loan players, the only ones likely to miss out.
Diskin added: “We are really looking forward to the game and the players are wanting to impress to get a shirt for our first match at Toulouse.
“Everyone will get the same amount of game time and a chance to put themselves forward.
“Every time we cross the whitewash we want to win but I also want to give everyone a chance to make the first 17.”