Manning and Hitchcox arrive at the Mount

BATLEY BULLDOGS have signed utility back Dane Manning and winger Jy Hitchcox as head coach Matt Diskin strengthens his roster ahead of the 2017 campaign.

Manning returns to the Mount on a two-year deal from Championship rivals Halifax.

The 27-year-old had been heavily linked with a return to Mount Pleasant on a two-year contract after it was confirmed by Halifax last week that he had requested to leave the club.

Richard Marshall’s Fax players have had to take a 10 per cent pay cut following their failure to reach the Qualifiers last season – something Manning refused to agree terms on.

Manning began his career at Leeds Rhinos in 2009 before joining Batley from Featherstone for one season in 2011, where he scored nine tries in 27 games.

He then switched to Halifax the following year, where he scored 33 tries in 105 appearances.

Meanwhile 27-year-old Australian Hitchcox arrives on a season-long loan deal from Castleford Tigers.

The winger featured just nine times for Cas last season and has dropped down to the Championship in an attempt to play more first team rugby – but that is something the former Wests Tigers player will have to work hard for, according to Bulldogs boss Matt Diskin.

He said: “I want competition for places and Jy’s arrival will definitely provide that.

“He’s a brilliant offensive player, but we already have some very accomplished players in the wing position so Jy will have to work hard to hold down a place in the first team.

“I know he’s a Super League quality player so I trust he’ll be very professional and give it 100 per cent. I’m really looking forward to working with him.

“I’ve mentioned before that I want Batley to play some more attractive attacking rugby next year and Jy’s arrival will definitely help us achieve that aim.”

The duo take the Bulldogs squad to 28 and Diskin admits he his unlikely to sign anymore players ahead of the 2017 campaign.

He said: "The squad is coming together nicely and is pretty much complete.

“We will have some good strength in depth which is vital for success in such a competitive league.

“If we get injuries, talented players will be eager and ready for their chance to impress me.

“There may be a few selection headaches for me along the way, but that’s not a bad problem to have.”

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