Huddersfield-Batley announce partnership

PA Sport
Rugby league clubs Huddersfield and Batley have formed a partnership

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Rugby league clubs Huddersfield and Batley have formed a partnership

Huddersfield have formed a partnership with neighbours Batley that will provide players from the Championship club with insurance and top-level medical treatment as part of a ground-breaking welfare scheme.

In addition to having access to Giants players not needed for Super League matches under the increasingly popular dual-registration scheme, the Bulldogs will have access to immediate treatment for injuries to their part-time players.

"We have taken on an extra full-time physiotherapist to cope with the increased numbers and extended our insurance to provide for all Batley players," Huddersfield managing director Richard Thewlis said.

"Naturally the main driver for us is to have a team for our fringe players or players returning from injury to play, but we have no rights to our players being selected; every football decision at Batley remains 100% with (Bulldogs coach) John Kear."

Kear had expressed his reservations over the dual-registration scheme but believes his club's partnership with Huddersfield should become a blueprint for the game.

"This partnership allows us to maintain our identity and be masters of our destiny, and the big winners are our players," Kear said.

"People may not realise it, but for many lads injured in the Championship means that not only do they lose their rugby money for a time, they can also be off work and lose the ability to support their families.

"We know the game is tough and I understand the economic realities, but I have long championed better protection for players and now with this scheme I know that my Batley players have access to top medical provision at all times.

"I believe this is something that the game as a whole should look at and it's nice that we will lead on this key area."

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