An impressive start to 2021, beating their nearest and dearest Batley Bulldogs last time out could easily inspire Lee Greenwood’s side with confidence as the Rams look set to improve on 2020.
Full-back: Joe Martin
Though it did not work out for him at Halifax, Joe Martin has enjoyed strong spells with Dewsbury and should begin life as the regular full-back.
Wingers: Andrew Gabriel & Will Oakes
During his career between Keighley Cougars and now Dewsbury, Andrew Gabriel certainly knows his way to the try line. Having scored up to 70 tries in 100 professional appearances, Gabriel’s prowess should see him feature prominently. Will Oakes has previous Super League experience with Hull Kingston Rovers, as well as a brief stint with York City Knights plus international appearances for Scotland.
Centres: Adam Ryder & Matthew Fleming
Adam Ryder is averaging a try in every two appearances between his spells at Keighley and Dewsbury, so he will no doubt be chosen by Greenwood when possible. Matthew Fleming produced some good rugby between St Helens and London Broncos, becoming an efficient support player and could thrive off such an experienced half-back combination.
Stand-off: Paul Sykes
Speaking of which, Paul Sykes, at 39-years-old, is still going in what has been a superb career. Having scored over 2,000 points, as club captain, he will need to lead by example should Dewsbury wish to survive relegation.
Scrum-half: Liam Finn
Sykes will be partnered by the 37-year-old Liam Finn at scrum-half. Not often you have a combined age of 76 between both half-backs, but wisdom can conquer all and Finn, with his kicking game and leadership skills, can help produce the goods.
Props: Frazer Morris & Tom Garratt
In his third year with the club, Frazer Morris has produced good enough form to earn a starting jersey and that is no coincidence. At 24, Morris still has plenty of years ahead of him, having shown sheer power and enthusiasm which should help provide the Rams with the hard yards. Tom Garratt has not had a lot of luck thus far but having helped Dewsbury to a win over Batley, as well as gaining the number ten jersey, he will no doubt take the opportunity in full to help steer the Rams forward.
Hooker: Reiss Butterworth
Having floated between several clubs, the 22-year-old Reiss Butterworth has found a new home in Dewsbury. Though it did not work out for him in Super League, Butterworth has shown promise in the Championship, especially with Batley, and there is no reason why he will not do the same here.
Second-rowers: Jason Walton & Michael Knowles
Despite not having much luck with injury in recent years, Jason Walton has shown good form throughout his career and now he has gotten game time again, Walton could get back to full fitness with the Rams. Scoring over 60 tries in up to 180 appearances is impressive and thus could prove to be a valuable player for Greenwood. Michael Knowles has scored over 60 tries and 170 goals throughout his career and such capability should earn him regular game time for the club.
Loose-forward: Chris Annakin
After nine years at Wakefield, Chris Annakin is set for hopefully his first full year at the Rams. Always a hard worker and consistent performer, though he just could not get going at Trinity, Annakin could well thrive with more ‘freedom’ at the Championship club.
Another type of player every club needs, a second hooker in the line-up, Sam Day will be the man for Dewsbury.
Keenen Tomlinson, in his new coach’s own words “will be a valuable squad member”, having impressed in training since linking up in November.
Another Jamaican international in Jon Magrin. He has made over 100 professional appearances and has been quite a handful in the front-row during his career thus far.
A gamble maybe?! Joe Wardill spent three seasons at Hull Kingston Rovers before joining the Rams. He is able to rotate between the back-row as well as centre and wing and could prove to be a valuable cover player for the club should injuries and of course the pandemic become an issue.