championship: Matty Wildie is set for his Batley debut after joining the Bulldogs on a dual-registration deal from Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
Batley host Yorkshire rivals Hunslet Hawks tomorrow (2pm).
Batley coach John Kear said: “Matty’s a clever player. He’s tough and a good defender in the middle channel, and he’s also quite creative and has a good kicking game out of dummy half.
“There’s a bit of a change in dynamics if Matty plays, and that’s a good thing because it keeps the opposition guessing.”
However, Batley have suffered a blow with the news that Jimmy Grehan has returned to Australia.
Kear said: “With Adam Scott injured we’ve only got Johnny Walker and Alex Bretherton as second rowers, so we’re on the lookout to bring someone in.”
On tomorrow’s visitors, Kear added: “I’m expecting them to be very fired up. The last time we played, we beat them quite comprehensively, and Barry Eaton will be pointing that out to them.
“We know we’ve got our work cut out. They’ve got some good players. I’ve been very impressed with Andrew Yates, while Luke Helliwell and Joe McLocklan are very clever. They’re a handy little team.”
Danny Grimshaw and Danny Ratcliffe both have extremely slim chances of playing, although Hunslet coach (Barry) Eaton expects to be without the pair as they battle against hernias.
Liam Welham and Aaron Dobek have returned to full training, but tomorrow could be too early for a return to first team action.
Eaton said: “Batley are very resolute.
“They’ve had some defeats, but they’ve not been beaten heavily. All their games are close and they’re very competitive.
“We know it’s going to be tough, but one of our best performances of the year was the Challenge Cup performance against them – although we’re also aware we got our backside spanked in the league.”