Batley Bulldogs will aim to kick-start the new Championship season in style when they welcome Workington Town to Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Sunday (kick off 3pm).
Coach John Kear is fully aware of the threat Workington will pose but he is confident the Bulldogs can make a winning start.
Kear told his players who will be involved in Sunday’s opening match at a team meeting last night, while the full 19-man squad must be handed to the RFL 48 hours prior to kick off.
Scott Leatherbarrow and new signing Cain Southernwood look set to start at half-back for the Bulldogs against a Workington outfit who have beaten Whitehaven and Wigan in pre-season.
Kear said: “I will remind my players that Workington have scored 50 points against six in their two games.
“They have only conceded one try and we are fully aware that they can defend but we know they can attack and score points if we allow them.”
Kear and club captain Luke Blake represented Batley at Tuesday’s Championship launch in Manchester when there was a sense of excitement and anticipation ahead of the opening round of matches.
Kear added: “It would be great to see the same enthusiasm that greeted the start of Super League for the Championship.
“It is not just about hitting the ground running, we want to start well and maintain that momentum as 23 matches are not many.
“This is the toughest Championship anyone can remember and you can sense the excitement.
“We have worked hard and smart in training and I have been happy with the application and commitment but the proof of the pudding will be at 3pm on Sunday at Mount Pleasant.”