NICK Fozzard has played in some of the biggest games in world rugby but admits stepping out for the Heavy Woollen derby on Boxing Day will help fulfil another ambition.
Fozzard joined Dewsbury Rams from Castleford Tigers last week and is likely to make his bow in the festive match at Tetley’s Stadium.
Fozzard, who won a World Club Challenge and two Challenge Cups during his time with St Helens, said; “I have played in most of the big derbies. Warrington v Widnes, Wigan v Saints, the Hull derby but never the Heavy Woollen derby and that is something I am looking forward to.
“I grew up watching both Dewsbury and Batley and I’m sure games between the two are just as fierce as the other derbies, if not quite as fast. It will be an honour to play in the Heavy Woollen derby.”
Although a Wakefield lad, Fozzard began his rugby career down the road from Tetley’s Stadium at Shaw Cross, playing in the same side as Lee Gilmour. Fozzard was soon selected for the Batley and Dewsbury schoolboys, where he played alongside Francis Cummins plus Adrian and Wayne Flynn.
Fozzard said: “That was a great side. There were so many good players who were picked up (by professional clubs).”
It was while playing at Shaw Cross that Leeds coach Dougie Laughton took Fozzard to Leeds to begin a professional career that would see the 34-year-old have a glittering 271 game career.
Fozzard added: “I feel my career has come full circle but although I am looking forward to playing first team rugby again, I also want to help bring some of the young lads along.
“When I was at Saints it was all about winning trophies but here I will have a different role. I’m sure we will be competitive and I still want to win things but it as much about giving something back and bringing other players on.
“I only live 10 minutes from the ground, which is perfect for me. I didn’t want to finish my career straight away, I wanted to go out gradually and enjoy my rugby.
“I know Warren Jowitt well, we mix in the same circles and I played against him for years and I also know a few of the other players we have signed. Dewsbury is a family club and I am delighted to be here.
“I specifically asked my agent if he could get me a deal at Dewsbury. I am really looking forward to it.”
Dewsbury fans have nine weeks to wait to see Fozzard in a Rams shirt but his signing is sure to add more spice to what is becoming the most eagerly awaited Boxing Day derby for years.