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Trio pen new deals to stay at Bulldogs

Second row Dane Manning is one of three players to have agreed a new deal to remain at Batley until the end of 2019. Picture: Paul Butterfield.
Second row Dane Manning is one of three players to have agreed a new deal to remain at Batley until the end of 2019. Picture: Paul Butterfield.

Batley Bulldogs have agreed contract extensions which will see three of their star players remain at the club until the end of the 2019 season.

Second row man Dane Manning, scrum-half Dominic Brambani and prop Tom Lillycrop have all agreed new deals, which will see them remain at Mount Pleasant for at least the next two seasons.

The announcement was made after Batley’s 24-12 pre-season victory over a young Wakefield Trinity side last Sunday and comes after the Bulldogs signed exciting young centre Lewis Galbraith from Rochdale Hornets late last week.

Manning made 31 appearances, scoring nine tries, having returned for a second spell at Batley last season, following five successful years with Championship rivals Halifax, where he played 127 games and scored 38 tries.

Brambani is entering his third season with the Bulldogs, having played 62 games and scored 19 tries and 37 goals.

Lillycrop has also been rewarded for his consistent form with a new deal having started 23 times for Batley and made a further 62 appearances from the bench during the last three seasons.

Galbraith featured 16 times for Rochdale in 2016, having previously spent two years playing in Australia for Sarina Crocodiles.

The 23-year-old started 27 times for the Hornets last year and made a further appearance from the bench and scored seven tries.

Bulldogs coach Matt Diskin doesn’t believe there will be any further additions to his side’s squad before the Championship kick off on February 4 when Batley travel to Galbraith’s former club Rochdale.

Speaking after his side’s win over Wakefield, Diskin said: “We had no plans to bring anybody in but sometimes opportunities arise as they did with Lewis.

“Our centres and back rowers is where we have got some real quality. You have got Joel (Farrell) coming back in.

“James Harrison is playing exceptionally well and you have Dane Manning and then Brad Day to come back and we have some real quality back rowers, so it is not going to be a walk in for anybody.”

Farrell will not feature in Batley’s pre-season fixtures and will miss the opening two Championship matches as he serves the remainder of a ban picked up at the end of last season.