Dewsbury Rams have been handed a blow as centre or full-back Brad Watkinson has decided to remain in New Zealand due to personal reasons.
Watkinson made 20 appearances for the Rams last season, having been recommended by former Bradford Bulls star Joe Vagana.
He scored three tries for Dewsbury last season including a crucial score in the tremendous 30-28 play-off first round win over Doncaster.
Watkinson had originally agreed to return to Tetley’s Stadium for the 2014 season but has now decided to remain in New Zealand.
While the news will come as a blow for the Rams, boss Glenn Morrison has plenty of time to recruit another player, and there is positive news on the fitness of Karl Pryce.
The former Super League three-quarter played 29 times for the Rams last term and scored 13 tries but has been receiving treatment for a back injury.
Pryce has responded well and could be set to resume light training shortly.
Dewsbury have also confirmed a third pre-season game as Morrison continues his preparations for the new Championship season, which begins in mid-February.
Doncaster are set to visit the Rams on Sunday February 2( kick off 3pm) meaning there will be three home friendlies in the build up to the new campaign.
Dewsbury are hoping for a bumper festive crowd when last season’s beaten Grand Finalists Batley Bulldogs visit for the traditional Boxing Day challenge match, which kicks off at noon.
The Rams will also host Super League side Bradford Bulls on Sunday, January 19 and are hoping to arrange a fourth friendly, probably away.
Season tickets are available at the club and the Rams are hoping sales will pick up in the run up to Christmas.