All change for Batley Bulldogs

Batley Buldogs coach John Kear is set to name a noticeably different side to the team that secured the Boxing Day win over Dewsbury when his side faces Halifax on Sunday.

Kear will not have access to the five Huddersfield dual-registration players that featured against the Rams, as they will spend this week on a pre-season Giants camp in Portugal and will be unable to train with his squad.

Kear will also have four members of his own side available again after they missed the festive fixture.

New signing Sam Scott is back from suspension, while Mark Applegarth has recovered from shoulder surgery.

Miles Greenwood is fit again following a thigh strain, and Ayden Faal could feature after injuring his lower back at work.

The only definite injury absentee is backrower John Davies, who should be fit to return in the friendly against Keighley following his own shoulder operation.

In addition to those changes, Kear is also set to mix up the rest of his side.

“We started with Alistair Leak and Scott Leatherbarrow against Dewsbury and I thought they went very well,” Kear said.

“This time we’ll go with Ben Black and one of the other halfbacks, and I’ll probably play a different set of props.

“It’s nice to be able to mix it up in pre-season and roll a few different combinations around.”

Kear has praised the progress made by youngster Leak since his step up to the professional game at the end of last season, when he signed from Cumbrian amateur club Egremont Rangers.

“He’s been impressive ever since we’ve had him on our books,” Kear added.

“I watched him in the Student World Cup, and Paul Fletcher recommended him very highly.

“He’s a tough Cumbrian kid who can play Rugby League.

“He has deficiencies like any player does, and if we can sort out a good kicking game I think he can be a very good halfback or hooker for us.”