Rovers snap up four Batley players

George Flanagan celebrates his match-winning drop goal for Batley Bulldogs against his new club Featherstone Rovers in the recent Championship play-off clash. Picture: Mark Bickerdike.
George Flanagan celebrates his match-winning drop goal for Batley Bulldogs against his new club Featherstone Rovers in the recent Championship play-off clash. Picture: Mark Bickerdike.
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Featherstone Rovers have further strengthened their squad for next season by signing four players from Championship rivals Batley Bulldogs.

They have snapped up hooker George Flanagan, half-back Gareth Moore, prop Keegan Hirst and second-rower Liam Walmsley.

All four players have signed two-year contracts.

They were all members of the Batley team that recently beat Rovers 21-20 in the Championship play-offs, with ex-Bradford Bulls academy player Flanagan kicking a match-winning drop goal in sudden death extra time.

Flanagan and former Leeds Rhinos academy player Moore were virtually ever presents for Batley in 2013.

Rovers head coach John Bastian said: “George Flanagan is a larger than life character and will bring lots of enthusiasm to our squad.

“He is extremely dynamic from dummy half and I feel that Andy Ellis and George will be a key facet of our side in 2014 and beyond.

I have monitored his career very closely since he was a junior at Bradford Bulls and have always been impressed with his strong play around the ruck and look forward to working with George to develop his game further.

“I worked with Gareth Moore at Leeds Rhinos and I am looking forward to working with him again at Featherstone. Gareth has a very strong kicking game.

“He also has a very good passing game and importantly is very vocal and a very good organiser on the field.

“At only 25 years of age, Keegan Hirst’s best years are to come. Standing at 6ft 3in, he is big, powerful and an athletic front row forward. I have watched his progression over the last 12 months closely and feel he has the potential to play at a higher level.

“Liam Walmsley is a very strong, athletic and hardworking second rower. Like all the signings we are making and the existing players at the club, Liam wants to improve and develop all areas of his game and feels he can achieve that at Featherstone Rovers.”