Bulldogs step up pace ahead of new season

Alex Rowe is set to miss Batley's remaining two pre-season games having undergone a knee clear our operation.
Alex Rowe is set to miss Batley's remaining two pre-season games having undergone a knee clear our operation.

Batley Bulldogs are set to step up their work rate with just four weeks until the start of the new Kingstone Press Championship season.

Bulldogs players were given time off following their hard-fought 12-4 Boxing Day triumph over Dewsbury Rams but coach John Kear has several tough sessions planned after welcoming them back on Tuesday.

Kear said: “The players worked hard up to Christmas but like everybody, whatever occupation, they deserve some time off.

“We welcomed the players back on Tuesday and they were told to expect some very tough sessions.

“We put in place red, amber and green sessions for the players, with green being relatively easy, amber mediocre and red really tough and the players have certainly been told to expect red sessions this week.”

Batley came through the Boxing Day clash with no serious injury concerns although a couple of players have been attending physio sessions during their break having picked up slight knocks against Dewsbury.

Alex Rowe will miss Batley’s remaining two pre-season matches — against the Heavy Woollen Select on Sunday week and North Wales Crusaders on Saturday January 23 — having undergone minor knee surgery.

Kear explained: “Alex has ahead a knee clear out operation, where they also shave a bit of cartilage around the knee.

“It sounds pretty awful to the general public but it is a quite common procedure among rugby league players.

“It is now up to the coaching and medical staff to decide whether to send Alex straight out in the first game against Leigh or work on him further in training.”

The Centurions visit Batley in the opening Championship game on February 7.