Dubai beckons for Bulldogs

JOINT coaches Sean Richardson and Paul March will run the rule over hopefuls for this year’s Bulldogs Over 35s tour to Dubai at a trials day in mid-May.

The event, at Wigan St Patrick’s on Sunday 14 May, will help Richardson (formerly with Castleford Tigers, Widnes Vikings and Leigh Centurions) and March, who starred for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Huddersfield Giants, Keighley Cougars and Hunslet Hawks, determine their squad for the trip to the Dubai Rugby Union Tens in late November and early December.

Team Manager Martyn Ward and his colleagues, meanwhile, have teamed up with Prostate Cancer to enable funds, through the tour, to be raised for the charity.

Potential players and sponsors should email Ward at

He said: “Contrary to previous tours, the only eligibility criteria is that players are over 35 years of age on 1 November 2017.

“They can be amateur, ex-professional, current professional, a former rugby union player; it doesn’t matter, we are all-inclusive.”

He continued: “The Bulldogs, originally the brainchild of former BARLA International Manager Mick Turner, have participated in this very prestigious tournament for seven years, giving senior veteran players the opportunity to travel to an amazing part of the world and show the wider international rugby community the skills, attitudes, fitness and toughness that our code develops.

“It is a good way of helping ensure that players reaching the end of their careers keep donning their boots, and of rewarding long service, whilst raising awareness not only of our game but of a very deserving charity.”

The Bulldogs, Ward stresses, have never failed to reach at least the quarter-final stages and, last year, were beaten finalists in the Plate competition, while their participation has led directly to a match between a UAE squad and Pakistan.

Ward closed: “It is a shame that the amateur governing body – BARLA – decided not to sanction this tour, which gives the opportunity for over 35 players to represent Rugby League before a worldwide audience.”