PREVIEW: SWINTON LIONS V BRADFORD BULLS

08 February 2019

Swinton Lions welcome Bradford Bulls to Heywood Road in Round 2 of the Betfred Championship.

Swinton Lions host Bradford Bulls in round two of the 2019 Championship clash at Heywood Road this Sunday, kick off 3pm. 

The Lions travelled to Olympic Legacy Park last weekend in the opening round the year, with the hosts claiming the first two-points of the season with a 64-10 victory.

Now attention turns to the weekend’s action, as Swinton play hosts to recently-promoted Bradford Bulls in the first league match at Heywood Road of 2019.

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FORM GUIDE

Stuart Littler’s side fell short against Mark Aston’s Sheffield Eagles, whilst Will Hope also suffered a terrible leg injury that will see him sidelined for the near-future.

However, the Lions have added Wigan and England Academy star Harry Smith to the squad on a one-month loan, adding competition to the halves in the Swinton side. The promising youngster was a part of the 2018 Wigan Academy Grand Final winning side, and could make his debut this Sunday against Bradford.

John Kear’s side travel in confidence, having recently won the 2019 Yorkshire Cup 14-12 over Batley Bulldogs, whilst also picking up their first two-points of the season over Featherstone Rovers in a close encounter at Odsal.

Likewise, Bradford have dipped into the transfer market, signing Toronto Wolfpack forward Olsi Krasniqi on a one-month loan.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

The last time the Lions and the Bulls met was back in 2017 in the Championship season, including Stuart Littler’s first game in charge.

Just seven-points separated the sides at Heywood Road early in round three with the Bulls claiming a 28-35 victory, with over 1,000 fans in attendance.

Stuart Littler’s first game as Head Coach saw Swinton travel to Odsal to face Bradford, and tries from Shaun Robinson, Ben White and Liam Forsyth saw the Lions with a 16-6 victory in a dramatic Championship fixture.

 

The teams then last met during the 2017 Championship Shield campaign, with the Bulls travelling to Heywood Road and defeating the Lions 30-16.

TEAM NEWS

The Lions’ dual registration partnership with Wigan Warriors was recently confirmed for the 2019 season and takes effect this week with Stuart Littler’s squad bolstered by the return of Liam Forsyth, Liam Paisley and Chris Hankinson, who moved to the Cherry Whites last season.

Irish international and prop forward Liam Byrne could make his debut on dual-reg joins from the Grand Final champions but has already featured under Stuart Littler for his national team.

New recruit Harry Smith, who was signed on Friday afternoon, goes straight into the 19 for Sunday’s game.

LIONS SQUAD TO FACE BULLS: Matty Ashton, Ben Austin, Gavin Bennion, Billy Brickhill, Mike Butt, Liam Byrne, Rob Fairclough, Liam Forsyth, Aaron Hall, Frankie Halton, Chris Hankinson, Jack Hansen, Lewis Hatton, Paddy Jones, Rhodri Lloyd, Liam Paisley, Kyle Shelford, Harry Smith, Luke Waterworth.

BULLS SQUAD TO FACE LIONS: Dane Chisholm, Steve Crossley, Rhys Evans, Connor Farrell, George Flanagan, Matty Garside, James Green, Sam Hallas, Jy Hitchcox, Liam Kirk, Jordan Lilley, Jon Magrin, Elliot Minchella, Ross Oakes, Brandon Pickersgill, Ethan Ryan, Jake Webster, Matty Wildie, Mikey Wood

KEY INFORMATION

REFEREE: J. Mcmullen    TOUCH JUDGES: A. Moore, A. Smith

KICK OFF: Sunday 10th February, 3:00pm

VENUE: Heywood Road, Sale, M33 3WB

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