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Kingstone Press Championship Round 1 Preview – Batley V Leigh Centurions

John Kear’s men had a difficult 2015 on and off the field with unrest between the fans and the club which seen a drop in attendances. The squad has seen some significant investment with the signings of Dom Brambani and Pat Walker from Sheffield. Them signings will add nicely to the Bulldogs squad with experienced campaigners Shaun Ainscough and Alex Rowe and with players like Keegan Hirst and Sean Hesketh it promises to be an exciting battle for the last of shield places.

Batley’s Pre-Season fixtures

Dewsbury (A) won 4-12

North Wales (H) won 36-18

Hunslet (H) won 34-6

Leigh have recruited heavily to try and right the wrongs of finishing bottom of the Super 8’s after being heavily backed to be able to take one of the Super League places available via promotion since 2007. The LSV will be looking to become a fortress once more after losing 3 of their 4 home games during the Qualifers after previously being unbeaten at home since the start of 2014. Big signings include Rangi Chase, Cory Paterson and Willie Tonga, add them to players like Ryan Brierley, FuiFui MoiMoi and new captain Mickey Higham and the Centurions look to have a Super League squad in waiting. The surprising loss of head coach Paul Rowley has rocked the centurions to their core but appointment of assistant manager Neil Jukes sees continuity in their coach set up.

Leigh’s Pre-season fixtures

Wigan (H) won 26-20

Warrington (A) lost 46-4

Batley’s 19 man squad – Rettie, Ulugia, Squires, Ainscough, Southernwood, Brambani, Hirst, Blake, Day, S.Scott, Walker, Davey, Gledhill, Chandler, Lillycrop, Bretherton, Leak, J.Brown, D.Scott

Leigh’s 19 man squad – Higson, Worthington, Armstrong, Kay, Ridyard, Brierley, MoiMoi, Beswick, Weston, Hansen, Hock, Higham, Pownall, Maitua, Spencer, Hopkins, Dixon, Chase, Emmitt

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