Dewsbury Rams are facing a mounting injury crisis as they prepare to welcome London Broncos to Tetley’s Stadium in the Kingstone Press Championship on Sunday (kick off 3pm).
Coach Glenn Morrison admits he could be down to 13 fit players as his side go in search of their first win of the season.
Half-back Dominic Speakman faces an operation on a broken nose picked up in last week’s 56-2 defeat away to Toulouse, while centre Jason Crookes and prop forward Jack Teanby were due to have X-rays after they were also injured in France.
Crookes suffered a suspected broken leg while Teanby picked up an ankle injury and, with Aaron Brown also facing a spell on the sidelines as he needs an ear operation, Dewsbury could be down to the bare bones.
Morrison has signed former Bradford Bulls Academy player Liam Coe from amateurs West Bowling and he could make his debut against the Broncos.
Coe was given a run out with Dewsbury’s partner club Hemel Stags during pre-season and he landed two goals in their League One Cup game against Gloucestershire All Golds last week but has now signed for the Rams.
Speaking of Coe’s signing, Morrison said: “He is a former Bradford Bulls academy junior.
“My son plays at West Bowling and I’ve seen Coe play a few times. He is not a short-term solution, he is more of a long-term project, but we may have to throw him in at the deep end and get him learning on the run.”
James Glover played at full-back against Toulouse but with Speakman ruled out, he could revert to half-back against the Broncos and Morrison sees these as areas for improvement.
Coe has also played at full-back for West Bowling but featured at scrum half in Hemel’s 48-12 defeat to Gloucestershire last week.
Dewsbury have lost their opening three Championship games, while London arrive having won two of their opening three matches but they were made to work hard before edging past Oldham 20-18 last week.
London needed a 95-metre try from Rhys Williams to take a 75th minute lead before Oldham missed a last minute penalty which would have snatched a draw.
Winger Dalton Grant joined London in the close season but he is still around eight weeks away from a return after rupturing his Achilles playing for the Rams midway through last season.