Former Batley Bulldogs captain Byron Smith is raring to go as he aims to help Dewsbury Rams claim the bragging rights in tonight’s Heavy Woollen derby (kick off 7.30pm).
Smith’s appearances for the Rams have been limited since his close season switch across the valley but Rams coach Glenn Morrison believes he could play a key role in earning Dewsbury victory at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
Morrison said: “Byron is itching to play against the club where he was captain last year and I’m sure he will be doing everything to help us get the right result.
“We had a good year against Batley last year but John Kear is very good at getting his sides motivated for games like this.”
Dewsbury produced one of their best performances of last season to win the Good Friday derby 43-10 at Tetley’s Stadium and Morrison is confident his side can turn round recent disappointing performances.
He added: “We have not played well yet, even against Sheffield, and our completion rate has yet to get above the 60 per cent mark but I am sure when it does things will click and you will see the kind of performances we showed last season.
“The good thing about derby games is you can have first against last and it’s still going to be a tight battle. Hopefully we can put things right and get some results for ourselves and our fans.”
The Rams and Batley go into the clash level on six points after their opening six matches and the winners can steal a march going into the second round of Easter fixtures.
Morrison is mindful of the quick turnaround, with the Rams hosting Bradford Bulls on Easter Monday (3pm).
Matthew Haggarty is replaced by Smith tonight as Morrison looks to rotate the squad and keep players fresh ahead of the Bradford game.