Dewsbury Rams and Batley Bulldogs gear up for tough Challenge Cup ties against Championship rivals
Neighbours Dewsbury Rams and Batley Bulldogs will take new-look squads into tough all-Championship away ties in the Betfred Challenge Cup on Saturday.
Reiss Butterworth, Lewis Carr, Will Oakes, Jordan Schofield and Keenan Tomlinson could make their debut for Dewsbury at Whitehaven (5.15pm), but half-back Alex Smith - signed this week after training as a trialist - is injured and misses out.
Rams won at Whitehaven in a midweek Cup tie last year and coach Lee Greenwood said: “It is going to take a tough effort to go up there and win.
“You never come away from Cumbria with a comfortable win, it is always a struggle and I expect no different this time.”
The winners will travel to West Wales or Widnes Vikings in round two next week.
Ben Kaye and Jodie Broughton could make their Bulldogs debut against former club Halifax (7.30pm) and fellow recruits Kieran Buchanan, Elliot Hall, Tom Gilmore and Josh Tonks are also in contention.
Influential forwards Anthony Bowman, James Brown and Dane Manning are all ruled out and boss Craig Lingard said: “They are a massive loss, but somebody else has to stand up and take the lead.”
The winners will be away to Featherstone Rovers or Bradford Bulls in the second round.
Today’s ties will be played behind closed doors, but streamed live - free for season ticket holders - on the RFL’s Our League platforms.
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