Preview: Batley v Halifax

Batley coach Karl Harrison could be boosted by three dual-registered players making their Batley debuts in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Alex Brown, Josh Griffin and Kyle Wood have all joined the Bulldogs from Engage Super League club Huddersfield Giants and are set to get their first taste of Co-operative Championship action on Thursday night when the Bulldogs host last year’s beaten Grand Finalists.

Harrison said: “Halifax are the bookies’ favourites for the title in what is a highly competitive league. We know this game will be tough.”

Batley are looking to avoid a second successive defeat at their start of their league campaign, having lost 36-10 at Featherstone 10 days ago.

Halifax, meanwhile, are hoping to continue their recent form, having come back from the dead to snatch a 32-26 victory over Sheffield Eagles in their first league fixture, and then easing past amateurs Ovenden 88-10 in the third round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup.

Star man Ben Black (hamstring) will be given as long as possible to prove his fitness ahead of Thursday’s showdown.

Stanley Gene, David Wrench and Said Tamghart are also expected to come back into contention after being rested at the weekend.

Despite his side’s two recent victories, Halifax coach Matt Calland is adamant there is more to come from his squad, particularly in attack. He said: “Hopefully things will start clicking for us sooner rather than later.”

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