Duo depart Bradford as Wales captain heads to Batley

James Gordon
Elliot Kear

Photo: Craig Thomas/News Images

Wales captain Elliot Kear has left Bradford to join Championship rivals Batley for the 2023 season.

Kear, 33, stepped back from full-time rugby league in 2021 to pursue a career as a firefighter.

He has made more than 300 appearances in his career, including 29 caps for Wales.

His former clubs include London Broncos, Crusaders and Salford, as well as his two spells at Bradford.

Prior to playing in his third World Cup, Kear said: “I’d always wanted to be a firefighter and if I hadn’t started playing rugby it would have been my chosen career.

“I was still a professional rugby league player when I put my application into the service. At the time I was 32 and knew that a rugby career can be a short one, so I saw the opportunity and went for it. It meant leaving my professional contract behind, but it was worth it and has been the best career decision I’ve made.”

Elliot Kear fills the void left by Luke Hooley, who has left Batley to take up a Super League deal with Leeds.

The Bulldogs made the Championship Grand Final last season, losing to Leigh, but have also lost half-back Tom Gilmore to Widnes. They are rumoured to be bringing in former Newcastle half-back Josh Woods as his replacement.

Murphy heads to Sheffield

Meanwhile, Aaron Murphy has also left Bradford to join Sheffield Eagles.

The former Huddersfield and Wakefield back-rower has signed a two-year deal.

Eagles director of rugby, Mark Aston, said: “I was very keen to get Aaron through the door once I knew the opportunity was there,.

“If every player in our squad puts in a 8/10 performance every week then we won’t be far off where we want to be. I know we’ll get that from Aaron.

“His experience in the Championship and at Super League level is certainly an advantage for ourselves.

“To have him here for two years means he can really stake his claim and lay down a marker for those youngsters coming through.”

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