Kingstone Press Championship Preview: Batley Bulldogs v Workington Town

Batley Bulldogs coach John Kear says: “We’ve had a decent pre-season but Workington have as well so it will be two teams who are very well prepared feeling confident and bullish about what’s in front of them and I think it will be an excellent game of Rugby League.”

Kear has beefed up his squad after the club pulled out of their dual registration deal with Huddersfield Giants. “We felt we had to increase the number as well as the quality of the squad for competition for places and to keep training at a high standard. My belief is that if you train at a high standard and high intensity, that’s how you play.”

Two players, who won’t be considered for Sunday’s game, are Keegan Hirst who is about two or three weeks away from full fitness and Brad Hey who broke his foot in pre-season.

Phil Veivers, the Workington Town coach is expecting a very competitive game. “We’ve had a very tough pre-season, the boys put a lot of effort in. In both pre-season games, I thought we were strong defensively and got plenty of positives out of it.”

Veivers is still trying to add a half-back to his squad but is being hampered by red tape. “In the meantime I’ll make do with what I’ve got. Callum Philips played against Wigan, he went pretty well so that’s an option. Another option is the dual registration with Wigan.”

Elliot Miller and Kris Coward are unavailable because of long term injuries, while Dan Rooney (shoulder) and Liam McAvoy (ankle) will also be missing. James Duerden won’t feature because he’s got a broken nose and there are doubts over Tom Walker and Latu Fifita.

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