Rams snare a pair of Tigers

James Clare, Castleford Tigers player on dual contract with Dewsbury Rams
James Clare, Castleford Tigers player on dual contract with Dewsbury Rams

DEWSBURY Rams coach Warren Jowitt has finalised his squad for next season by signing Billy Harris and James Clare from Super League Castleford Tigers.

Second row Harris has joined on a season-long loan while highly rated winger Clare will gain experience as a dual registration player.

Clare only switched to the professional game last year having been spotted at Castleford Lock Lane and has turned several impressive displays for the Tigers’ Under-20s.

Castleford anticipate he could be in line to make his Super League debut next season, if he continues to improve at Tetley’s Stadium.

Jowitt is excited at the prospect of working with the promising duo, saying: “I think Super League sides are seeing loaning players out to Championship clubs as the way forward.

“At 20, these players are not good enough to reach a certain standard and they see how playing them in the Championship works.

“Castleford approached me about the two. Ben has been full-time but has had little opportunity with the first team and they see this as a way for him to improve. James is a winger and the type of player who can score a try out of nothing.”

Dewsbury began pre-season training on Monday, when Jowitt put his new charges through their paces for the first time and he was impressed with their efforts.

“The lads looked pretty good. We did fitness tests and I am happy with the way they have come back. It is not about being fit now, it is being fit for the start of the season.

“We are there now regarding our squad and we can now focus on the job in hand. I am looking for big things from Ryan Esders and Ben Jones but Dwayne Barker looked really good. He has come back after 18 months out and he really impressed me.”

The dual registration and loan players will spend pre-season with their parent clubs before linking up with the Rams. Dewsbury have what Jowitt describes as ‘warm weather’ training planned for January. It remains to be seen what the task master has planned for his squad.

Off the field, the Rams have been encouraged by the response of fans to the season ticket appeal, which could net the club £15,000 from sponsor Eric France Scrap Metal.

For them to net the windfall, they need to sell 500 tickets and Rams chairman Mark Sawyer said: “We will write to all last year’s ticket holders explaining the situation to them. It will be tough to reach 500 in the current climate but it is a terrific gesture by our sponsor and would provide us with a great early boost.”

Mr Sawyer added that a number of supporters have pledged their support for club by snapping up tickets and the club aim to announce a running total each week.

Dewsbury plan to hold a meet the players evening in December, when season tickets will be on sale.

Dewsbury are hoping for a big turnout for the traditional Boxing Day derby against Batley Bulldogs. The Bradford Bulls friendly has been confirmed for January 22 and the Rams are hoping another high profile Super League side will visit Tetley’s Stadium for a pre-season game.