Bulldogs’ caution ahead of Toronto trip

Batley Bulldogs supporters are being advised not to book trips to see the team play in Toronto, with the March 17 fixture likely to be played in the UK.
Batley Bulldogs supporters are being advised not to book trips to see the team play in Toronto, with the March 17 fixture likely to be played in the UK.

Batley Bulldogs have issued a warning to supporters thinking about booking a trip to watch their side take on Toronto Wolfpack next March.

The 2019 Betfred Championship fixtures were released on Sunday evening but Batley were quick to warn fans not to book flights to Canada with a venue for the March 17 fixture still to be finalised and the clash could take place in the UK.

Batley, along with several other Championship clubs, were hampered by visa issues for last season’s trip to Toronto, with assistant coach Danny Maun forced to come out of retirement to feature in the game.

Toronto agonisingly missed out on promotion to Super League when they were edged out by London Broncos in last season’s Million Pound Game but with former Leeds Rhinos boss Brian McDermott taking over as head coach, they start among the favourites to make the step up in 2019.

Batley kick off the Championship season at home to Barrow Raiders on Sunday March 3 before facing tough back-to-back away fixtures at Featherstone Rovers and Halifax.

The RFL confirmed that this season’s Summer Bash will return to Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road and Batley will take on neighbours Dewsbury Rams for a fifth consecutive season on Sunday May 19.

This season’s Good Friday derby against the Rams will take place at Tetley’s Stadium on April 19, with the Bulldogs then hosting Swinton Lions three days later on Easter Monday.

The return derby against Lee Greenwood’s Rams will be at Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Sunday August 11, while the regular Championship season ends with Batley visiting Barrow on Sunday September 8.

Batley fans will also have chance to visit a new venue next season when they face newly promoted York City Knights at Bootham Crescent on Sunday May 5.

A new-look play-off system will come into place in 2019, with the top five Championship clubs battling for the right to reach Super League.

The Bulldogs will reveal details of their 2019 season tickets at a season’s launch tomorrow (Friday, from 7.30pm) in Ron’s Lounge at Mount Pleasant when all supporters are welcome to attend.

Batley will also unveil their new playing strips, while chairman Kevin Nicholas and head coach Matt Diskin will host a question and answer session for fans.