Luke Hooley thanks Leeds Rhinos, explains dual-reg deal ahead of Batley Bulldogs' 1895 Cup final v Halifax

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Full-back Luke Hooley has thanked Leeds Rhinos for allowing him to play in Saturday’s 1895 Cup final at Wembley.

Hooley is dual-registered with Batley Bulldogs who face Halifax Panthers in the last part of a triple-header also involving the men’s and women’s Betfred Challenge Cup finals.

The 24-year-old was in danger of missing out after being called into Rhinos’ first team squad for last Sunday’s Super League clash with Leigh Leopards.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But Rhinos have no game this weekend and coach Rohan Smith agreed to make Hooley available to Bulldogs for their first appearance at the national stadium.

Batley Bulldogs players and staff at Wembley on Friday. Picture by Peter Smith.Batley Bulldogs players and staff at Wembley on Friday. Picture by Peter Smith.
Batley Bulldogs players and staff at Wembley on Friday. Picture by Peter Smith.

Bulldogs visited the venue on Friday afternoon and Hooley admitted he was delighted to get the go ahead..

“It is a massive occasion for Batley and myself,” Hooley said. “Obviously I wanted to get the green light and to play at a place like this is unbelievable.”

Hooley joined Leeds from Batley at the end of last season. That means he can switch between the clubs, as opposed to regular loan deals which are for a minimum of two weeks.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Read More
Leeds Rhinos coach confirms Luke Hooley Wembley decision ahead of Batley Bulldog...

“You can get dual-reg’d back to the team you came from for the first 12 months,”he explained.

“That means I can go week to week. I think occasions like [the final] will be good for when I’m back at Leeds.

“It is a massive game and the more games I can play in, the better. It helps with my career and hopefully one day I can come back here with Leeds in the Challenge Cup.”

Rhinos are no strangers to big games, having featured in last year’s Championship Grand Final.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It has been similar,” he said of Bulldogs’ preparations. “We have been taking the nerves out of it and staying calm and enjoying it.

“We’ve had two pretty tough weeks with results, but I think that helps a team sometimes, to get back to the realisation you can’t win every week.

“We’re expecting a tough game. Halifax are hitting a bit of form so we’ve got to be on it. I think it’ll be an exciting game. We want to enjoy it, but when it comes to Saturday, get the job done.”

If Bulldogs do lift the trophy, Hooley won’t be celebrating too hard. He confirmed: “I am back in on Monday with Leeds, preparing for the Warrington game. To get the green light to come here and play is the main thing, rather than the celebration after.”