By Trevor Watson
DEWSBURY Rams are hoping to make it 11 out of 11 in the next couple of weeks after signing eight of the players targeted by coach Warren Jowitt.
The names of the newcomers were announced at the fans’ forum last Friday when it was stated negotiations were continuing with the remaining three and the Rams hope to achieve a 100 per cent on their wish-list.
Jowitt also announced that loose forward Adam Hayes, who did an outstanding job this time, would again captain the side.
The players who have joined the club include the experience of half-back Dominic Brambani, who has been at Sheffield and is currently playing in Australia, and tough-tackling Luke Stenchion, who moves across the valley from Batley Bulldogs.
The Rams have also signed another former Batley prop in Luke Menzies, who played alongside Stenchion at Mount Pleasant before moving to Hull KR and then Oldham. He is still in his early 20s and it’s felt Jowitt can revive his career.
The other recruits are strapping prop Anthony England, who was with Castleford Tigers and had a very successful spell on loan at Gateshead this time, and adds real size to the front row. Another young prop to have signed is Danny Richardson, who was at Featherstone and went to Castleford on loan to bolster their under-20s team.
Clearly Jowitt and his assistant Matt Walker aim to beef up the Rams this time.
England’s Gateshead team mate, winger Stewart Sanderson, who hails from Wakefield, has also joined after topping the try-scoring list with the Thunder with 22 this time and he scored 20 last season.
More half-back cover comes with Rob Lunt, a former Workington player, who has been at Huddersfield Giants with his brother Sean, and there is a utility back in Scott Turner, from Castleford Tigers, who can play full-back, centre or wing.
Announcing the signings, chairman Mark Sawyer explained: “It was obvious towards the end of the season that we had to increase the size of the squad. When we had two or three injuries, we were becoming threadbare.
“If 50 per cent of the lads we are signing make the mark, we shall be over the moon.”
In addition to the newcomers, Jowitt has promoted other players to the senior squad in Jamie Lockwood, Allister McMaster, Tom Wandless, hooker Matt Tebb and 17-year-old Sam Doby, who was signed as a hooker but is being developed as a prop.
Mr Sawyer said: “These lads have come on under Warren’s coaching and this is what we are looking for – to be producing our own players. We have retained 23 players, including Billy Maxwell, and we have only one over 30 and only two or three are over 25.”
The players to have left the club are Liam Finn, who was said to have received a massive offer from his former club Featherstone, Jake Wilson, seeking regular first team football, Simon Cook, who has returned to amateur rugby with Queens because of training difficulties, and Jimmy Elston, who has retired.
Mr Sawyer said that one player, who had decided to stay with the Rams, had turned down an offer worth four times his current deal at Dewsbury.
Jowitt said Brambani would bring an excellent tactical kicking game, referring to the lack of 40-20 kicks and added: “This is something Dewsbury have been without since the days of Richard Agar.”
Asked who would stand in for goalkicking if Pat Walker was missing, he said that Brambani could do the job as could James Walker but he added that Adam Robinson was an excellent kicker and he would be the choice.
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