Dewsbury Rams could be boosted by the return of three key players before their next two pre-season games at the end of January.
Powerful forward Makali Ai zue, new signing Jobe Murphy and joint captain Karl Pryce all missed the Boxing Day derby against Batley Bulldogs but are nearing a return to fitness.
Dewsbury travel to Keighley Cougars on Thursday January 23 before welcoming Bradford Bulls to Tetley’s Stadium three days later.
Rams coach Glenn Morrison has also lined up a Papua New Guinea World Cup star to join the squad.
That signing would depend on the unnamed player meeting certain visa requirements but if the deal falls through, there is a replacement lined up to come in.
Morrison was pleased with his side’s display on Boxing Day, despite Dewsbury slipping to a 10-4 defeat to their local rivals.
The Rams boss said: “I was really pleased with the way the boys played and although the result didn’t go our way, there were positives to take.
“We created lots of chances and broke their line and had three tries disallowed.
“We also held them to one try from a kick and another a dart from dummy half against last season’s Grand Finalists and I was really happy.”
Dewsbury have three weeks until their next warm-up game and Morrison is looking forward to continuing hard pre-season work before the prospect of two games in four days.
Morrison added: “We should have Pryce and Jobe Murphy back for the Keighley and Bulls games and I rested Makali (Aizue) on Boxing Day so he will also play.”
Dale Morton sustained a dead leg soon after scoring Dewsbury’s try early in the second half of the Boxing Day clash and was taken off as a precaution.