No visa, but 'Dogs still have Ulugia for 2016

CHRIS ULUGIA will be a Batley Bulldogs player in 2016 – but the centre will be playing at Mount Pleasant as a Bradford Bulls loanee.

This comes after the RFL refused Ulugia a visa to sign for Batley permanently because the 23-year-old had played one game fewer than was required in 2015, largely due to injury,

But the good news for the Bulldogs is that they have agreed a loan deal with Bulls coach Steve Ferris for Ulugia, which doesn’t allow the New Zealander to be recalled in 2016 and also enables him to play against his former club.

Elsewhere at Batley, assistant coach Danny Maun will utilise his connections at the T3 Training gym to help improve the fitness levels of the Batley Bulldogs squad throughout the 2016 Kingstone Press Championship campaign.

The gym, on Bradford Road Dewsbury, will be used as a place for both players to train and rehabilitate away from Mount Pleasant in order to keep in the best possible condition during what is set to be another long season, starting with the Bulldogs’ opening pre-season fixture against Dewsbury Rams on Boxing Day.

The Bulldogs are also on the look out for a new physiotherapist – and the closing date for applications is Sunday December 20.

This comes after a challenging 2015 season which saw Batley struggle with injuries in important matches.

Coach John Kear said: “Injuries cost us last year and I feel if we can keep our players fit then we can finish much higher in the league and turn some of those narrow defeats last season into wins.”

“I’m really happy with my squad at the moment.”

Also at Mount Pleasant, the new PA and CCTV systems have been installed and Batley chairman Kevin Nicholas is suited with the latest Fox’s Biscuits Stadium improvements.

“”We were hoping this would be a big improvement but having heard the PA system, it is magnificent and it exceeds our expectations,” said Nicholas.

“Supporters cannot fail to be impressed when they hear it, of that we are certain.”

This week also brought the sad news of the passing of former Batley Bulldogs prop Martin Harrington.

Harrington, 53, passed away in Leeds’ St James’ hospital after a short illness.

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