Nicholas hoping for bumper derby attendance

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Batley Bulldogs chairman Kevin Nicholas hopes the start of a new era of rugby league at Championship level could help attract a bumper Boxing Day crowd.

Dewsbury Rams will be the first team to visit the newly named Fox’s Biscuits Stadium in seven days time for what should be a cracking derby.

Both the Rams and John Kear’s Bulldogs have made a host of signings during the close season, with supporters having a first chance to see them in action at the traditional festive challenge match.

Mr Nicholas said: “We are looking forward to Boxing Day. There a couple of players who may not play but whatever team we put out, they will be desperate to get off to a good start, equally so will Dewsbury, which makes for a great game.

“I would hope for a crowd of 3,000. This is a new start for everybody. I hope there is interest in the community and we can build on this.”

Batley won last year’s Boxing Day fixture 10-4 at Tetley’s Stadium in front of a crowd of 2,344 but the Rams won both meetings in the Championship last season.