NRC Preview: Gateshead v Batley

Jason Payne, Karl Brandt and Rhys Clarke all remain sidelined for Gateshead as coach Chris Hood prepares his team for the visit of Batley Bulldogs.

Hood rates Tom Wilson’s chances of playing after a back injury as 50/50.

Hood said: “It’s all about the way we prepare ourselves and what steps we can take from our last game, when we played York in the Carnegie Challenge Cup.

“That particular game mirrored a lot of what we’ve done this season: we did well for large parts of the game but then made silly errors that cost us.

“However, they’re things that we can correct and, with the exception of Blackpool, when we had an off-day, nobody has overrun us.”

Jonny Simpson (ankle) and Josh Griffin (shoulder) are both unavailable for Batley.

Paul Handforth faces a late fitness test after suffering a calf injury during last week’s defeat against Halifax.

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