Decision day looms for Rams

DEWSBURY Rams could find out as early as next Friday which division they will be playing in next season.

The Rams finished second-bottom of the Co-operative Championship this term but have not yet been demoted due to uncertainties regarding Welsh club Crusaders and Barrow Raiders.

Crusaders played their final game in Super League last weekend, when they went down to champions Wigan Warriors, and the Rugby Football League (RFL) are due to decide which Championship division the Wrexham outfit will be placed in next Friday (September 23).

The RFL have confirmed they are looking into a series of breaches of rules Barrow are alleged to have made over a four-year period between 2007 and 2011.

The investigation has been ongoing for the last two months and if Barrow are found guilty, they could face an unlimited fine or points deduction. Barrow have already been docked six points for offences earlier this season, so relegation could be a distinct possibility if they are found guilty again.

Dewsbury chairman Mark Sawyer has praised the RFL for the way they have handled the situation since the Rams final game of the season against Leigh on September 1.

Mr Sawyer said: “The RFL have been doing all they can and have kept us fully informed with what is happening. I know people are frustrated but the RFL cannot deal with things any quicker and we cannot find out our fate any earlier.

“A decision on Crusaders will be taken by the RFL’s board of directors next Friday. I think we have an excellent chance of staying up but it is by no means a certainty.”

The delay in announcing which division Dewsbury will play in is affecting them signing players and Scott Turner appears set to join half-back Dominic Brambani at Sheffield Eagles next year.

Sheffield coach Mark Aston has watched a number of Rams games and he is understood to have made offers to other Dewsbury players.

Mr Sawyer added: “A lot of players don’t want to play in the bottom divisiion and I can’t blame them but one or two of our players have already indicated they will stay with us next season whichever division we are in.”

Dewsbury have confirmed they will host the annual Boxing Day Challenge against Batley Bulldogs and this year’s game will have added spice, being the first game in charge for new Mount Pleasant boss John Kear.

The former England coach, who left Wakefield Trinity Wildcats last week, was named as successor to Karl Harrison on Wednesday. Harrison left the Bulldogs for Championship rivals Halifax, following Batley’s exit from the play-offs last Thursday.