Heat on Rams at Army camp

DEWSBURY RAMS V HUNSLET HAWKS - d14081171'A delighted Partick Walker goes over to score
DEWSBURY RAMS V HUNSLET HAWKS - d14081171'A delighted Partick Walker goes over to score

DEWSBURY coach Warren Jowitt has planned what he terms a spot of ‘warm weather’ training for the Rams next month – in Weymouth.

There might not be much in the way of paddling for the players but the Rams’ coach has a good friend, who is a staff sergeant in The Army, and the pair have arranged a bonding weekend at an army base in the area in January.

Old stagers, who have attended previous camps, will be relieved to learn that this time a chef will be provided so they will not be cooking their own meals.

Jowitt explained: “It will be more of a team building exercise than a fitness test and the players will be put through their paces by the army. They may also undergo weapons training – so long as they don’t shoot each other.

“It’s always a worthwhile trip and surprising how much the players enjoy it. They seem to relish the challenge and the difference from rugby training.”

The coach continues to be delighted with the level of commitment at training and added: “There is still a good deal of improvement to be made but there is a buzz around the place and a really strong air of confidence.

“That comes from people like Craig Cook and Dwayne Barker, who have experience at various levels and clubs and don’t believe they can be beaten.

“I’m also delighted with the change of approach by Andy Smith. He struggled last year with his strength and fitness and we didn’t see the best of him. But he is now one of the strongest in the squad and instead of being the man at the back, he’s pushing up at the front. He is a big unit and could well be a surprise package this time.

“I am also very impressed with the way Pat Walker has responded to having several new half-backs in the squad and he is working very hard to prove a point.”

Jowitt was disappointed to miss out on signing Liam Higgins, from Wakefield Wildcats, who is setting up in business if he doesn’t stay full-time in Super League.

He said: “If someone becomes available, who could add to our strength, we’ll consider him. But at the moment I’m happy with our squad, we have some good players and their attitude is spot on.”

The Rams say they will take every precaution should the weather change sharply and threaten the prospects for the Boxing Day game against Batley Bulldogs at Tetley’s Stadium (12.30pm).

Chairman Mark Sawyer said: “We are keeping a close eye on things. We still remember two years ago when there was snow but we got the game on.”

Dewsbury are among the clubs to be overlooked in the bid to either stage a group game or be selected as a training camp for one of the countries in the World Cup in 2013.

Mr Sawyer said: “We put a lot of hard work into our bid and submitted a very reasonable estimate.

“We are concerned at missing out because we feel Tetley’s Stadium is under-utilised and this would have been a nice boost for the club in addition to raising our profile.

“Something has got to be done, it’s a hand-to-mouth existence and we need the extra funding that these things provide. For a club of our size to have to run their own stadium is far from easy.

“We stage an amateur final at the ground on one or two occasions during a year but it is not enough to provide the additional income we need to get us on a sound footing.”

The Rams had hoped to have the ground used as a World Cup training camp with Batley aiming to stage a group game but their applications were linked together with an overall Kirklees bid and a group game was awarded to the Galpharm Stadium at Huddersfield with nothing for the Heavy Woollen.