Batley make double signing, including Championship star Manning

Batley have secured a double coup ahead of the season, after announcing the signings of Jy Hitchcox and Dane Manning.

The duo join from Castleford and Halifax respectively, with winger Hitchcox joining on loan while Manning signs on a two-year deal.

Hitchcox joined Castleford from Featherstone and made nine appearances for the Tigers in 2016, scoring seven tries.

However, the arrivals of Zak Hardaker and Greg Eden saw his first-team chances become more unlikely ahead of 2017.

Meanwhile, the arrival of Manning signals a major coup for the Bulldogs, with the back-rower widely regarded as one of the best players outside of Super League.

Manning, 27, spent five seasons at Halifax, making over 100 appearances for the club. He was under contract for 2017, having signed a long-term deal with Fax in 2014, but he has been allowed to leave the club.