Michael Ward has had an interesting few weeks to say the least.
After quitting his job as a maths teacher to represent Ireland at the Rugby League World Cup, the 31-year-old then failed to make a single appearance at the tournament.
Ward says he has no regrets about that decision and as he look for a new job in the education industry, he has now had some good news relating to the sport he loves.
The no-nonsense prop has agreed a new deal for the 2023 season with Batley Bulldogs, the club for whom he has played part-time for in the Championship since 2018.
Part of the Bulldogs team that stormed to the Million Pound Game, Ward can now be at least assured of some income next year after his bold decision to quit his day job in recent weeks.
After seven seasons and 170 appearances for his hometown club Oldham, Ward joined Batley in 2018 and the forward has proved himself at Championship level.
Since his move to the Bulldogs, he has earned five caps for Ireland and played in their qualification matches for the current World Cup.
Despite this, he didn’t play a single minute in the tournament as Ged Corcoran’s side were knocked out in the group stage after defeats to Lebanon and New Zealand.
But Batley coach Craig Lingard has taken the opportunity to reward Ward for his efforts, as he and his Bulldogs team-mates look to challenge at the top of the Championship again in 2023.