Batley Bulldogs v Dewsbury Rams: We can cope if game is off say rival bosses

Rival coaches Karl Harrison and Warren Jowitt are confident pre-season plans will not be too badly affected if Sunday's Heavy Woollen derby is called off.

The First Choice Birstall Superstore Challenge is the opening pre-season game for both Batley Bulldogs and visitors Dewsbury Rams.

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A frozen pitch is likely to mean the game does not take place, but Bulldogs coach Harrison insisted that won't set his team back.

"It is more of a financial thing for both clubs," he said. It is a

money-spinner and people in the area want to get out of the house on Boxing Day.

"The players want to play and I would like to see them play, but it won't be too much of a setback if it's not on.

"We have got three other friendlies – against Huddersfield, Halifax and Castleford – so we have got a tough pre-season."

Jowitt said his players are "looking forward to it."

He added: "They are itching to play, so it would be a blow if it didn't happen. But from a coaching point of view, the saving grace is you

don't run the risk of getting injuries.

"If it is on, it'll be good to see the new players play and see whether what we have done in training is going to work on the field, but I am

not too concerned either way."

Both coaches have named strong squads, including a host of off-season recruits.

Batley Bulldogs: Preece, Reittie, Williams, Maun, Brown, Handforth, Moore, Smith, Lythe, Potter, Walton, Bretherton, Robinson. Subs Lindsay, Mennell, Tootill, Martin, Manning, Toohey.

Dewsbury Rams: from Craven, Wainwright, Faal, Turner, Buchanan, Walker, Brambani, England, Blake, Hirst, Spicer, Lockwood, Roberts, Tonks, Bibb, Saxton, Wilson, Horton, Shaw, Cosgrove, Wall.

Referee: Craig Halloran (Dewsbury).

Kick-off: Sunday, noon.