New signing Shaun Lunt with Paul Clayton from Signature Resin Floors (left) and BISSA's Colin Bottomley (right)
CRAIG LINGARD says that Batley Bulldogs have pulled off a major coup with the “outstanding signing” of former Leeds and Hull KR hooker Shaun Lunt.
Lunt, 32, will bring vast experience to the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium in 2020, as a former England international who has also taken in Castleford, Workington and Huddersfield in his career.
He was a Super League winner with Leeds in 2012 and has also played in three Challenge Cup finals.
The Bulldogs say they have fought off competition from “a number of high-profile clubs” to secure Lunt, with the help of club sponsor Signature Resin Floors.
Head coach Lingard expressed his delight at getting the deal over the line: “He’s an outstanding signing for us with the experience that he’s got in Super League and international honours as well.
“He’s an absolutely massive signing and just what the club needed at this time of year. It’s taken a little bit of time to get done but finally it’s over the line and we can move on.
“Myself and (assistant boss) Mark Moxon met him a little while back and had a good chat and he liked what we were wanting to bring him to the club for, he said that’s what he was looking for at this stage of his career.
“The conversations that we had with Shaun were that he wanted to take a step back from Super League and look at the next stage of his working career, taking a step back from full-time rugby. The proposal that we put to him fits with his career stage so it was a really good fit.
“It was just getting the financial side sorted and Signature Resin have helped massively get it over the line. Without their help we wouldn’t have been able to get it done.”
Batley chief executive Paul Harrison added: “This is a massive signing for the club. To have a player with this level of experience is invaluable and we’re excited to be welcoming Shaun to the Bulldogs.”
The Mount Pleasant side now have a squad of 22 players, having also confirmed a deal for young prospect George Senior.
After spending last season on trial at the club, the versatile back-rower made his debut away at Toulouse late in the season and also featured against Featherstone.
Senior also played throughout the season for amateur club Dewsbury Celtic in the National Conference Leagues and signed a deal following his return from Celtic’s tour to Australia.
Lingard said: “We’ve been really impressed with what he’s done in training so far. He’s only a young lad and he’s still learning but he’s got a good graft and he knows the basics of the game.
“He’s got potential for us and he can cover a few positions: he can cover back-row, centre, play at loose forward or he’s played at half-back with his amateur club.
“On the information sheet that we gave everyone at the start of the season he said his primary position is back-row, although I’d like to look at him at centre as well. He’s got some ability strike-wise so he could be a danger out wide, and he’s solid defensively as well.”
Senior said on signing: “I can’t wait to start, it’s my first pre-season with the boys and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in.”