Bulldogs face race to bring in new players

Batley's James Brown gets the ball away under pressure from Swinton defenders Macavely Hallet and Connor Dwyer.
Batley's James Brown gets the ball away under pressure from Swinton defenders Macavely Hallet and Connor Dwyer.
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Batley Bulldogs are facing a race against time to register up to five new players in time for them to feature against Leigh Centurions this Sunday.

Batley are hoping to make two permanent signings, two on dual registration and a fifth player on loan but must have them registered with the RFL before midday today.

Batley have completed the relevant paperwork and are now waiting for the RFL to register them to play.

Danny Cowling faces between four and six weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury, while James Brown (knee), Joe Chandler (ankle) and Alex Bretherton (neck) are also doubtful for Sunday’s trip to the Kingstone Press Championship leaders.

Wayne Reittie was taken off with a head injury against Swinton last week but while Batley are confident he has recovered, the winger must pass the relevant concussion tests before being given the green light.

Coach John Kear: “The players we are bringing in are all high quality but we are waiting for them to be registered by the RFL.

“I estimate we could have four or five debutants playing at Leigh on Sunday.”

Kear believes the gruelling Easter programme has taken its toll on a number of players and Batley’s form has dipped since edging out Whitehaven 24-23 on Easter Monday.

Kear added: “We have been winning games through our energy and work rate but all of a sudden we have no energy and are looking tired.

“We put in our worst performance against Oldham but picked ourselves up for Featherstone.

“Swinton have been on a mini trot and were deserved winners but I was disappointed that they got us where we thought they would, especially the start which saw us 18 points down in the first 25 minutes.”