Batley Bulldogs prepare for pre-season friendly at Bradford Bulls

Craig Lingard hopes that a recent Covid-19 outbreak at Batley Bulldogs will mean the club are less likely to be significantly impacted by the virus during the season.

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 4:34 pm
Batley Bulldogs were forced to cancel their Boxing Day derby against Dewsbury. Picture by Allan McKenzie/

Batley were forced to cancel their Boxing Day friendly against Heavy Woollen rivals Dewsbury Rams because of Covid-19 cases in both squads.

A total of 13 Batley players tested positive for the virus.

“We’ve stuck to the protocols all the way through pre-season and test players regularly, and as soon as there was a sign of a problem, we took steps to try to limit the effects,” he told

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“It shows how transmissible this strain is, and of course it’s even tougher for part-time clubs to deal with it because so many of the players have jobs which bring them into contact with other people.

“It was frustrating and disappointing to have to cancel the derby, and there is obviously a financial impact, because costs had already been incurred and both clubs miss out on their share of the gate receipts.

“But it was the only option we had, and while the outbreak has meant disruption to the training schedule, we can only hope that by having cases now, we may be less likely to be hit further down the line.”

The Bulldogs are due to take on Bradford Bulls in a pre-season encounter this weekend. They also have friendly games against Widnes Vikings and Huddersfield Giants this month.