Three sign for 'Dogs as Walker departs

Three sign for 'Dogs as Walker departs

THREE more players are set to commit to Batley Bulldogs for this season while another, Niall Walker, has departed the club.

Sam Bowring and Dom Horn have secured deals following successful trials at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium over pre-season, and Tom Lillycrop was also set to confirm his return last night (Thursday).

Nyle Flynn signed a contract the previous week and the three latest signatures add further options to their forward ranks, with Bowring and Horn providing cover at second-row and Lillycrop bringing his presence back into the front row.

Bowring’s contract was signed earlier in the week while Horn and Lillycrop are ready to commit to their deals, with the latter expected to make his return later this month from Cleckheaton RUFC.

Head coach Craig Lingard said: “Speaking to Tom last night, he said in a couple of weeks he’ll be fit and ready to go for selection.

“I think he’s got another two or three games to commit to there (at Cleckheaton); he wants to be there while they’re having a promotion push. 

“It works out well as he can train with us on Tuesday and Thursday and get some rugby league fitness, and still be playing on a Saturday for Cleckheaton and get some game time.”

However, Batley have lost a player in their already lightly-stocked back division, with speedy winger Niall Walker confirming his departure from the club as he relocates, leaving the club with only 10 backs.

The Bulldogs started the season with a 38-18 defeat to Featherstone last week and head to Widnes Vikings on Sunday (February 7, kick-off 3pm) with more injury concerns.

Johnny Campbell (hamstring) and Tyler Dickinson (back) are both ruled out again, and they could be joined by loose-forward James Brown who picked up a hand injury in their opening game.

“He’s been off to hospital and had an x-ray but we’re not sure about damage,” said Lingard. “We think there might be a fracture but we’re not too sure. That’s got to go and be re-assessed.”

Prop Joe Taira was described as “touch and go” by the Bulldogs coach with an elbow injury suffered in last month’s pre-season fixture against Hull FC, while Shaun Lunt’s neck problem against Featherstone is not expected to be serious enough to see him ruled out of the Widnes trip.

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