Huddersfield Town fan and RL star James Batchelor has spoken exclusively to Huddersfield Hub about the Terriers and the upcoming Super League season.
Batchelor, 24, previously played for Wakefield Trinity but has now signed for ambitious Hull KR. Batchelor has been a Town fan since a young age and has seen good times and bad.
Despite being a busy sportsman himself, he’s a Town season card holder and is a Terrier through and through, attending as many games as he can.
On Town’s struggles at the bottom of the Championship, Batchelor said: “We have found ourselves in a difficult situation and I just can’t believe how we’ve gone from being in the play-off final last season to now sat in the relegation zone.
“Bad things have just kept happening from that point last May. Losing the final, Carlos Corberan leaving, losing our best players, the form of the team this season, managers coming and going. It’s one hell of a story.
“I still think we have the players to turn it around and thankfully we haven’t been cut adrift but we need to start getting wins on the board soon.”
While Town is his off-field passion, he’s a professional athlete and he’s excited for the new Super League season which starts next week.
Batchelor was one of Trinity’s outstanding players last season amassing over 1,500 metres with 28 tackle busts. That impressive form has now seen him move to East Yorkshire where he will be with Hull KR until at least the end of 2024.
On his move he said: “My contract came to an end at Wakefield and I was really impressed with the talks I had with Hull KR. They are a good club with good people. They are a family club with good values and everyone was so welcoming to me.
“I feel we have a really good squad this year and we want to push those teams at the very top. We aren’t looking to just be content staying in the division. We want to be pushing for trophies and that’s certainly the same for me individually.”
On how strong the league will be this year, Batchelor added: “The Super League season is always strong but particularly this year.
“St Helens will be up there as usual and Wigan will want to get tighter to them for the title this time. Warrington and Leeds will have improved and so will Huddersfield under Ian Watson. We know that it will be a tough campaign but it’s one we believe we are ready for.”
The big kick off starts on Thursday February 16 as Warrington take on Leeds. The Giants’ first fixture was due to be away at St Helens next week.
However, the current English champions are over in Australia taking on NRL side Penrith Panthers in the World Club Challenge. Therefore Huddersfield’s first match is at home against Warrington on February 24. Meanwhile Hull KR and Batchelor’s first test comes against Wigan on Saturday February 18.