Batley Bulldogs have reached an agreement with Leeds Rhinos that will allow a small number of the players the opportunity to play in the new Reserve competition alongside squad players from the Rhinos, and their dual registration partners Featherstone Rovers.
The Reserves, coached by Rob Burrow, had their opening game of the season postponed on Sunday at Wakefield due to Storm Ciara, but will make their bow this Saturday at Stanningley against Bradford Bulls, kick off 12 noon.
The majority of the Rhinos side will be made up of contracted Leeds Rhinos players however Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield has now reached agreements with Leeds Beckett University, Featherstone Rovers and Batley Bulldogs to allow players from outside of the Super League competition the opportunity to impress alongside full time players in the Reserves.
Commenting on the announcement Sinfield said, “We have a long and successful partnership with Featherstone Rovers that has been to the benefit of our young players in recent years and allowed Rovers to maintain their challenge at the top of the Betfred Championship. Whilst that will continue, we are also able to now offer their players the chance to play in our reserves.
“Likewise, Sam Walters and Jack Broadbent greatly benefitted from a loan spell at Batley and this continues our relationship with them. Our young forward Tyler Dupree will join Batley on loan, initially for a month, and will be available Craig Lingard this weekend for the Bulldogs clash with Swinton Lions.
“The challenge we all face is making sure that players not involved with the first team are able to get gametime each week and this is a great solution to that issue and will ensure we have the strongest possible side to play in the Reserve competition,” added Sinfield.