Batley Bulldogs: Run of ‘ridiculous’ trips to France gives Diskin selection dilemma

Bulldogs coach Matt Diskin reckons the RFL should investigate the adverse impact overseas matches are having on English-based part-time squads.
Bulldogs coach Matt Diskin reckons the RFL should investigate the adverse impact overseas matches are having on English-based part-time squads.
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BATLEY BULLDOGS are racking up the air miles and coach Matt Diskin has described the situation as “ridiculous”.

Batley are in the south of France for the third time this season – to take on Toulouse Olympique today (3pm UK time) – and could have yet another trip still to come in the Kingstone Press Championship Shield final.

Bulldogs, who lost at Toulouse in the opening round of the Championship in February but won a Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie there the following month, are second in the Shield table behind the French team.

If both sides win a semi-final on their own ground, Toulouse will have home advantage for the final, and Diskin said: “It is a bit of a joke.

“It has been difficult getting players to take time off work and I think the RFL need to address it.

“It is not appropriate for a part-time competition. I have had to name a 19-man squad, but I was struggling to get 17.

“It is a ridiculous situation. Players and coaches can’t afford to take unpaid leave so the governing body need to either renumerate them or find an alternative.”

Bulldogs have won six of their last eight matches and Diskin added: “It [today] is a big test; they are a very, very talented team, but we are building consistency and taking steps towards where we want to be before the semi-finals.”

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